The cat mashes the hat: Seussical @SWKplay

Seussical is a mash-up of Dr Seuss stories into a musical extravaganza that’s short in length and long on spectacle. It’s 75 minutes of flair, dazzle and fun songs. Perfect for little people, or people with little attention spans. It’s currently playing at the Southwark Playhouse.

It’s a condensed version of the musical by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens and based on the stories of Dr Seuss. Trimmed from it’s bloated original form, it allows the show with it’s catchy broadway songs to be fun without being too dull or sentimental.

This version focuses on the stories Horton Hears a Who and Horton Sits on the Egg. Both of these stories focus on a well-meaning elephant who gets more than he bargained for by the other animals in the jungle. And there’s a girl who gets the “thinks” too much for her own good.

The cat in the hat acts as the mischief-making ringmaster. Here he’s played by the mischievously entertaining Marc Pickering. With his deadpan expressions, he only has to look around at the audience to elicit laughs.

Scott Paige as Horton is a delight as the unfortunate Horton who gets caught up in various misadventures. There’s a sweet and funny performance by Amy Perry as Gertrude, who helps Horton even though he barely notices her.

There’s also a trio of sexy, tough, fleet of foot monkeys in the form of Adam Dawson, Robby Fell and Rhys Benjamin. They terrorise Horton (and the audience) throughout the piece.

The rest of the cast work hard to make sure everyone’s having a good time, especially with Chris Whittaker’s thrilling choreography. It’s a bright and colourful show thanks to set design by Justin Williams and Jonny Rust.

Inventive, silly and a lot of fun. It’s also a chance perhaps to see some performances by people destined to go onto bigger things. Directed by James Tobias, Seussical is at the Southwark Playhouse until 29 December.


Photos by Adam Trigg

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