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The Stories Within Alice In Wonderland
Sita in the Storytelling Tent
Alice in Wonderland is a story we all grew up with. It's a story we all know and love. But, have you ever thought a little more about it and its potential to unlock other stories?

Settle Stories Founder & Director, Sita Brand has. She has been a storyteller for over 30 years and a huge 'Alice' fan. Her premiere of 'Down the Rabbit Hole' at the 2016 Settle Stories Festival is something that didn't come as much of a surprise to those of us who know her well.

Sita will be telling the story of Lorina, Alice's older sister, and her adventures in wonderland. We spoke to her about why Down the Rabbit Hole is a performance by family, about family and most importantly, for the whole family.

You've performed in a whole range of interesting places but what makes a performance at Settle Stories Festival so exciting for you?

Settle is a beautiful place in the Yorkshire Dales. The Settle Stories Festival is the premiere story festival in the North of England. The Settle Stories festival is different to other festivals because of the range of story related activity. It's fun and quirky.But then I would say that because I founded the festivalp!

Alice in Wonderland is such a classic story that children and adults know well. Will you make the storytelling performance engaging for both adults and the younger audience?

Absolutely, it's been a real pleasure researching and developing this piece. In real life Alice Liddell who was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass had two sisters Lorina and Edith. This new show will trace Lorina, Alice's older sister's journey down the rabbit hole. It will include Lorina meeting familiar characters from Wonderland and some new ones. The Wonderland characters who will share stories with Lorina.

There are lots of references to Alice in Wonderland, so those that have read the books will be in for a real treat. You can still enjoy it without knowing the books, there's plenty of interwoven stories to enjoy.

What inspired you to take a trip down the rabbit hole to create this story?
I love Alice in Wonderland. I have always been fascinated by the story. I wondered as a child what Wonderland would have been like.

What made you decide to tell this story from the perspective of Alice's sister Lorina? How will her story be different from the story of Alice?
We all know Alice. I'm an older sister too and so I felt I could relate to Lorina, Alice's older sister really well. I think older sisters are sometimes misunderstood. Apart from that I could let my imagination run wild and reference Alice in Wonderland at the same time.

It must have been great fun imagining the adventures Lorina gets up to! Is there anyone that you test your ideas out on first?
Oh yes. I am working on the creation of the piece with Esme Brand my step-daughter. She works on developing scripts in the film industry. Then I'll be doing some preview sharings too and to develop the piece. With each sharing I take feedback and the show develops in time.

You will have seen so many fantastic performances at the festival over the years, who are you looking forward to seeing this year?
Martin Shaw is fabulous. He really is a master mythteller. His work is mesmerising and captivating. I also love Ursula Holden Gill's work. She's very funny. I'm also very excited about Alfie Moore coming. I love his Radio 4 series and it's brilliant he's coming to Settle.

If you want to hear what Lorina gets up to Sita Brand will be performing Down the Rabbit Hole at Settle Stories Festival 2016, 2.15pm on Sunday 3rd April.

For info and tickets:
www.settlestories.org.uk


The Stories Within Alice In Wonderland, 21st March 2016, 15:34 PM