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Dining With Alice
Dining with Alice, 2011. Directed by Hilary Westlake. Produced by Artichoke for Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Part of the Sky Arts Artichoke season. Photo by Sophie Laslett.

A unique theatrical experience down the rabbit hole

Hillary Westlake’s immersive production Dining With Alice brought diners up close with the cast of characters from Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece.

Curiouser and curiouser…don’t you agree?

A theatrical experience with a difference. Dining with Alice served up an enchanting Victorian feast in the grounds of a manor house.

Over eight nights, guests were served a four-course meal outdoors by a team of volunteers. Imaginatively-named dishes including ‘Mock Turtle Soup’ and ‘The Pie of Hearts’ were on the menu, specially created by Bompas & Parr in association with students from City College Norwich.

Transported into Lewis Caroll’s imaginary world, this immersive piece of theatre brought unexpected moments from well-loved characters: Alice running through the trees; the screaming Queen of Hearts; the anxious White Rabbit. The performance culminated at nightfall with a musical finale under the stars. An epic production in a beautiful setting, Dining With Alice turned audiences into honoured guests and breathed new life into a literary classic.

Part of the Sky Arts Artichoke Season. Produced in collaboration with Norfolk & Norwich Festival. 

Volunteer icon

44 Volunteers and 20 Project Apprentices

Number of waiters

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Number of guests

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20 acres

Size of the Elsing Hall Estate

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17 to 81 years

Age range of volunteer waiters


Hilary Westlake

Director | View Bio

John Del’Nero

Sound Design | View Bio

David Gale

Text | View Bio

Katy McPhee

Costume Design | View Bio

Simon Corder

Production Design | View Bio

Frank Millward

Music | View Bio

People sat a dining table are looking at a man pointing at one of the people seated. He is dressed as a King with a crown, a white painted face and pink circles on his cheeks
'Dining with Alice', directed by Hilary Westlake, produced by Artichoke for Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2011, part of the Sky Arts Artichoke Season. Photo copywright Sophie Laslett.

Wonderland had moved from whimsy toward madness. It never was entirely a children’s book.

~ Libby Purves, The Times, May 2011 ~

Dining With Alice: The Volunteers

Our incredible team of volunteers served our audiences throughout their topsy-turvy dining experience. We couldn’t have done it without them.

Next Project

The Magical Menagerie