Region 7 - Doreen Grierson
First of all thank you Act 1 for your warm welcome (not just the weather!) and hospitality and thank you Gordon for being on holiday and giving me the opportunity to see this excellent youth group with ages (I am told) ranging from 6 to 18yrs. I have seen the adult version of ‘Seussical’ but this is a smaller version written for younger actors but it doesn’t lose any of the characters or story of its adult version. The much-loved characters from Seuss’ books, Horton the Elephant; The Whos; Gertrude McFuzz; Mayzie La Bird and of course The Cat in The Hat are all featured.
‘Seussical’ cleverly incorporates several storylines into a single narrative. Including Circus Magurkas, Green Eggs and Ham, the Jungle of Nool and, of course, the Whos and the egg, with The Cat In The Hat as our narrator.
Horton finds a speck of dust containing tiny people called the Whos. He feels compelled to protect them from a changing world, while guarding an egg that has been left in his care by the irresponsible Maizie La Bird. Although Horton faces enormous challenges and ridicule, Gertude McFuzz doesn’t give up on him.
The staging was colourful and vibrant as were the wonderful costumes. The clever lighting added vibrancy to the overall effect. Dance numbers were well choreographed to meet the cast’s abilities. Most of the cast projected their voices well, despite the sometimes, overwhelming level of the background music, so occasionally, the clarity of the words were lost.
What an enormous amount of talent amongst this large cast we had present on stage. It would be wrong to single any one of them out but I would take my hat off (excuse the pun!) to Morgan Lawrence as The Cat In The Hat who was confident on stage and steered the narrative along. Bradley Bissett as Horton, who looked very comfortable on stage. Kelsie Bissett as JoJo was fantastic. Obviously talent runs in the family! The singing and thoughtful characterisation of all the other characters is to be commended.
To work with young people requires not only a group of dedicated, hard-working and talented young people but also a team of fantastic back-stage support. It is encouraging to see that these people are willing to give up their time to teach the youngsters team working skills and the confidence to stand up in front of friends, family and strangers, probably one of the most important life skills gained. Well done to Director Emily Cook and her team, a production and cast of whom you can be justly proud.