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enter wonder.land

About enter wonder.land

wonder.land is a National Theatre musical created by Damon Albarn, Moira Buffini and Rufus Norris, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s iconic story. The play explores the blurred boundaries between our online and offline lives. Alice is an avatar of real-life Aly, a teenage girl with problems both at home and school. The rabbit hole is the internet, which takes Aly through to the online virtual world of wonder.land.

To accompany the production we developed a series of digital experiences including:

  • a virtual reality music video called ‘fabulous wonder.land’
  • ‘cat face’ facial recognition screens
  • a walk-in wonder.land green-screen experience
  • an avatar builder


Created with the set designers for wonder.land, the world of the production was represented spilling over into our front-of-house spaces. The installation was a collection of seven sets or references to the show, their designs influenced directly by the show’s design. The installation featured:

The School Toilets

In the production, Aly hides in the school toilets to escape her bullies, and uses her phone to go into wonder.land. For the installation, we redesigned a set of the school toilets to replicate this for audiences. While sitting on the toilet, visitors experienced the virtual reality music video ‘fabulous wonder.land’. Grimy, green and slimy, the toilets were covered in graffiti, with headsets and headphones resting on toilet roll holders. There were five toilets for a seated experience and a hand dryer for an accessible or standing experience.

The Bedroom Wall

Aly’s bedroom wall featured posters of her favourite pop stars and films. Interwoven were a series of iPads and iPhones, each one a facial recognition mirror that replaced your face with the production’s cat-face image.

TV Wall

A tech junkyard with large cat-face facial recognition screens intended for groups and a larger ambient experience.

Walk in wonder.land

A green-screen experience where you could interact with wonder.land’s musical wildlife.

Zombie Cyber Cafe

In the Zombie Cyber-Café ten iPads where available for audiences to create their own avatars. Developed in association with the National Theatre’s Costume Department and using a mix-and-match approach, custom avatars were created from a selection of avatar features from the show.

The Mad Hatters Tea Party

An interactive sound installation with a giant teapot and hand knitted cakes. Visitors used the table, crockery and cakes to create an interactive soundscape.

Ali's Bed

Taking centre-stage in the installation was Aly’s bed, with teenage paraphernalia strewn over the floor and under the bed.