AUDIENCES will be taken down the rabbit hole this month as a Wee County ballet company returns with a real "show-stopper".

The Alloa Ballet Company will be performing for the first time since Covid when a show of two halves goes ahead at Alva Academy on March 18 and 19.

The 150 performers, aged between two and 26, have been working hard to perfect their routines with principal Heather Shrimpton promising a spectacle.

In the first half of the show, there will be fine displays of ballet, tap, modern, contemporary, commercial and jazz dances by the pupils, including guest appearances by talent formerly nurtured at the company.

The second half will be a full-length ballet devised by Heather, titled Alice in Wonderland.

It will see Alice fall asleep deep in the magical wood before she is woken by the ticking of a clock.

Much like the classic, her adventure will begin as she follows the white rabbit down the hole.

She will meet many characters on her journey in Wonderland, including Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the Cheshire Cat, The Mad Hatter and the terrifying Queen of Hearts.

Heather said: “It takes such a lot of hard work putting on a show, but the pupils have risen to the occasion and this certainly will be a show-stopper.”

Excitement has been building up for the young people and parents.

While the company held a small recorded show without a live audience during Covid, nothing can substitute a whole weekend on the stage.

Heather added: "We are all just so excited, I know the parents are excited to actually see their children on a stage with lights, make up and more – the buzz is actually just incredible at the moment.

"[On stage] is where children develop those skills – dancing in front of an audience is not like being in the studio dancing for me."

Indeed, pupils and parents have been helping to fundraise for the show in the past months as well.

They held a successful Christmas Fayre, a pennies in the Smarties tubes activity for every pupil and a massive prize raffle, to be drawn on March 19.

With the pupils perfecting every move and routine, costumes are also in the final stages of alteration before it will be all go for the performance.

There will be three shows over the two days at the academy, with both an afternoon and evening event on the Saturday, March 18.

Tickets, £10 for adults and £8 for concessions, are available from