Gene Wilder | One Year On

I don’t know about you but Gene Wilder was one of those men who you instantly recognised just by the sound of his voice, and it was great. He reminded you of all those films you loved and it’s still shocking now to know he’s gone. August 29 marks the one year anniversary of actor, director, producer and writer Gene Wilder’s unexpected death. To celebrate his life, Millennial London has decided to honour him by taking a look back at some of his greatest acting moments.

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Gene Wilder | IMDb

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

There’s no need for an introduction here. Wilder is Willy Wonka – the king of confectionary. Even a film made before our time is still loved now and will continue to be just as much loved by future generations. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a well loved classic and adored by every child and adult alike. We sing along and know all the words and even appreciate the great taste in fashion Mr Wonka had. Mr Wonka will never be the same. Although there was an adaptation which saw Johnny Depp take on the role as the Candyman, the original classic will always be our favourite.

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Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka | IMDb

Young Frankenstein (1975)

Wilder is Dr Frederick Frankenstein, the American grandson of that other Frankenstein. He tries to prove that he isn’t as insane as people make him out to be (like his infamous grandfather) and with that he is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers how to bring a dead body back to life. This spoof plays comedic homage to the original classic tale by Mary Shelley in which Wilder himself co-wrote along with Mel Brooks. Dr Frankenstein makes it obvious that he doesn’t want to be connected to his grandfather, (even with his distinguishable American accent) he tries everything he can to refuse that connection – even correcting the pronunciation of his last name so as to not be confused.

Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder as Frederick Frankenstein | IMDb

See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) 

Wilder is Dave, a deaf man who meets a blind man called Wally (played by Richard Pryor) after accidentally witnessing the murder of a man. With the police laughing at them and with a target on their backs by the real killers, the duo try to work together to save themselves and bring the real killers to justice. Wilder and Pryor make the ultimate laugh-out-loud pair. With quotes like “Today I threatened to shoot a naked woman with my erection” from Dave and Wally’s “I hear prison isn’t so bad if you like it up the butt” – it’s hard to not laugh at those two on screen trouble makers.

See no Evil Hear no evil
Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder as Wally and Dave | IMDb 

Alice in Wonderland – TV Movie (2000)

Wilder is the Mock Turtle in this TV-film adaption of Alice in Wonderland. Although he makes only a small appearance in the film, his acting and singing is simply beautiful that it lasts throughout its entirety. Alongside the Gryphon (voiced by Donald Sinden), together they sing Will You Won’t Join The Dance and Beautiful Soup with Alice herself (played by Tina Majorino). It’s a memorable few minutes that make you sing along – blissfully unaware of the outside world of reality.

Mock Turtle Alice
Gene Wilder as Mock Turtle | IMDb

Alice’s Adventures Underground|review

★★★★★ Les Enfants Terribles, The Vaults

Alice’s Adventures Underground is an unmissable production that has created the most imaginative way of telling a story.

ALICE'S ADVENTURES UNDERGROUND. Richard Holt 'Hatter' and Philippa Hogg 'March Hare'. ©Rah Petherbridge Photography
Alice’s Adventures Underground | Alex Gilbert

Upon arrival, it feels like walking into a different, whimsical world. Before the performance has even started, you find yourself in awe by the creative design and themed (and strong!) cocktails. Once the journey begins, it’s up to you where it will lead. Alice’s Underground Adventure is unlike anything I’ve seen at The Vaults.

Instead of watching the story unfold right in front of you, you’re part of it and not only that, it’s like stepping into it and you decide where the adventure will take you. Depending on what route you choose, either shrink by taking a drink or grow by having a sweet, you steer your journey through Wonderland.

The Queen of Hearts has turned so evil, chopping off people’s heads for anything. An underground group grows and tries to ignite a revolution…Will you be part of the secret revolution? Or will you be on the Queen’s side?

Be wary that if you’ve come with someone you might not end up with them, as groups are split throughout the production. This is done by picking a playing card and depending on the suit you have chosen, you have to complete a different secret mission.

ALICE'S ADVENTURES UNDERGROUND. Philippa Hogg 'Alice'. ©Rah Petherbridge Photography
Alice in Alice’s Adventures Underground | Alex Gilbert

The design and details are the most interesting thing about this immersive production. You could go several times and still find new things and discover details about this incredible underground world that you haven’t seen before. Besides the creative set up, the actors (or interactors) are the other wonderful thing. Not only do they stay in character the whole time, they also interact incredibly well with the audience. They have an off-the-cuff humour and the talent to improvise, which you find endearing.

Another amazing thing is that the cast switches roles, so if you come twice you’re likely to see different people play different characters. Combined with the different story lines, it’s possible to go several times and still experience something completely new.

by Al Overdrive
Alice’s Adventures Underground | Alex Gilbert

The best part about this adventure is that you’ll actually feel like you’re part of it, you’re making a difference in the story. It’s almost heartbreaking leaving the characters and Wonderland behind. The intricate details of the production won’t leave your mind, even after leaving the venue.

Alice’s Adventures Underground runs at The Vaults until 23 September 2017

@AliceUnderLDN