Wonderland (1987)

Note: Wonderland was advertised in the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round's 1987 summer season brochure as well as in the press. However, the play was never produced. This page contains what details were announced of the production for historical research. Dates, company members and staging details are included to indicate what was planned for the play had it been performed.

Production Details

New Play:


Advertised opening:
Advertised closing:
Stephen Mallatratt

Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round
Main house (Round)

30 September 1987
24 October 1987

Stage Manager:
Deputy Stage Manager:
Deputy Stage Manager:
Assistant Stage Manager:
Assistant Stage Manager:
Robin Herford

Duncan Lewis
David Parker
David O'Neill
Braco Dawson
Kate Haswell
Details not announced
Details not announced


Wonderland was a new play by Stephen Mallatratt advertised for the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round's 1987 summer season. However, the play was not produced and in the first week of August (two months before its premiere), it was replaced in the schedule by Willy Russell's Educating Rita.
The play was pulled from the schedule and, as far as this author is aware, never completed or presented at any venue. In a statement from the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Artistic Director Robin Herford explained the rare decision to pull an advertised play: "All theatre programming involves an element of risk, and particularly in that area where we pride our record most - that of encouraging and commissioning new writers - perhaps the greatest risk of all. Stephen‘s play, dealing with the issues of mental handicap, involved him in an enormous amount of research, and has already gone through several re-writes. It is still proving to be even more difficult to construct than we had imagined, and that in order to do justice to this important and complex subject, we have decided that further work is necessary before a production is possible."
Wonderland was advertised in the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round brochure with the following copy: "There are few worlds that conjure up more disturbing images for outsiders than the dimly perceived world opt the mentally and physically handicapped. Yet that same world holds a store for us too, of other images - kinds, unselfish love, amazing tolerance, an unself-concious demand for contact and massive trust. It is fascinating, warm and friendly world in which Stephen Mallatratt sets his new play Wonderland.... Mallatratt has again chosen to look at people who are effectively shut off from us, and yet unquestionably have the same needs, the same rights and the same hopes as our own. Wonderland is a moving and at times hilarious play that employs the playwright's considerable skills to look at people and not the handicaps."
In the programme for Spokesong in June 1987 (which shows how late a change to the programme this was), Wonderland is advertised as: "Kindness, unselfish love, amazing tolerance and massive trust - the themes of an exploration of the world of the physically and mentally handicapped."
All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd. Image copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust