Some thought Christopher Wheeldon “completely insane” when he decided to make a ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s novel.

Last year, when The Australian Ballet was organising promotional photography for the launch of its 2017 season, The Royal Ballet in London sent over one of the costumes from Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandfor Amber Scott to wear. “I put the dress on and it was making a funny noise and I was asking why that was so, and, apparently, they lined the bodices with plastic because the girls were that drenched in sweat that it was coming through the satin,” recalls Scott, one of the dancers who will play Alice in Australia.

Alice is a big role in a very big ballet. In fact, she appears in virtually every scene – hence the need for perspiration protection. “I think there’s only two minutes when she’s off-stage,” says AB Artistic Director David McAllister. “That’s why we will have so many casts. We are doing a lot of performances – eight shows a week for three weeks in both Melbourne and Sydney. The Alices can only do two performances a week so we need to have at least four casts.”