There is something wonderful about fringe theatre. There’s such great sense of ensemble from the people who run the theatres. They make and do everything themselves. It all has quite a rustic feel. As I sit in the theatre bar/box office/foyer, a school group of very excited, very young children arrive, noticing a life size cut-out of The Cat in the Hat. It occurred to me that this could be one of if not their very first experience of theatre. How fantastic to see them so excited about it.
This production of Dr Seuss’s classic story is told in just 40 minutes (I think the shows’ target audience of ages 3+ would start getting fidgety after much more than that). It is non-stop madness throughout, which the kids in the audience love! It is told in a Dr Seuss style rhyming narrative to match a Dr Seuss style set, made of flats on a revolving stage, which is always a winner with me! It’s a very physical show, with some parts being told purely through moment, sound effects and music. The Cat is a very loveable character with loads of energy which carries the story, although this is very much an ensemble show, and the cast work well together as an ensemble. When the Cat introduces Thing 1 and Thing 2, the real mayhem begins, culminating in giant balloons being thrown around the auditorium and Thing 1 and Thing 2 running through the audience with water pistols. Most of the kids loved this, although some found being so close to the cast a little terrifying (I know at that age I would have found it terrifying!). There were moments where it could have been a little more slick and perhaps a little more polished, particularly in the moving of set, however the children probably wouldn’t notice things like that.
This show is a wonderful adaptation of a classic story and is a fantastic way to introduce very young children to theatre. It’s short and sweet, and will have your kids bursting with laughter and excitement! Every single child in the audience came out talking about it and how brilliant it was, and if the target audience love it then it deserves 4 stars.
Review by Elliott Wallis
Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd presents The London Revival of the National Theatre’s adaptation of Dr Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat adapted by Katie Mitchell.
Following a sell-out run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the National Theatre’s acclaimed stage adaptation of Dr Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat will return to London in a brand new production this festive season from Monday 8 December 2014 to Sunday 4 January 2015 at Pleasance Theatre, Islington.
From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the cat in the hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will mum find when she gets home? Based on the much-loved book by Dr Seuss, The Cat in the Hat is a lively and engaging first theatre experience for young children aged 3+.
Dr. Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat, based on the book by Dr. Seuss, was originally produced in 2009 by the National Theatre of Great Britain, and adapted and originally directed by Katie Mitchell. This new production is directed by Lillie Collier, designed by David Shields and produced by Paul Taylor-Mills Ltd. It is presented through special arrangement with Josef Weinberger Plays Ltd on behalf of Music Theatre International (MTI).
Thursday 11th December 2014