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Review: Dr Seuss The Cat In The Hat at The Liverpool Playhouse

by Miranda Humphreys Green. Published Fri 15 May 2015 14:31

Dr. Seuss’ eponymous Cat tells us that “it’s fun to have fun but you have to know how.” Here’s how: go see the Cat in the Hat at Liverpool’s Playhouse.

Sally and her brother are housebound on a cold, cold, wet day with nothing to do when in through the door bursts the crazy Cat in the Hat and his anarchic acolytes Thing 1 and Thing 2, in their red babygrows and blue ice-cream cornet hair. Suddenly the house is upside down and so, almost, is the doom-laden voice of reason, the family fish, whose dire warnings that the Cat “should not be here when your mother is not” are thoroughly disregarded.

As a first theatre experience for pre-schoolers, it’s 40 minutes of cleverly crafted mayhem. The Cat is as subversive and mischievous as ever and the production is faithful to the original text with its catchy rhymes and pacey rhythm but with innovative additions in the form of mini mimes to enhance the experience.

As energetic and engaging as the action is, it’s the set that is the star of the show. The designers have worked hard to make 3D objects appear as flat and hand-drawn as the original illustrations, which fosters an atmosphere of off-the-wall and dreamlike zaniness. The fussy fish is wonderfully conceived and appears simultaneously as both a hand puppet in a bowl and in the form of an actress. At one point we are welcomed into the goldfish bowl as the whole stage is transformed into a watery space with the descent of bubbles blown from above. Sit in the front four rows to be in the bubble zone.

Balls feature heavily, from the fur-balls the Cat revoltingly coughs up to the imaginary tennis balls that ricochet around the stage and the balloons and beach balls that are thrown out into the audience so we can join in the fun. Take your favourite tot and go and see it – you’ll have a ball too.

PR Rating: 5/5

Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat Runs Until Saturday May 16th. For Tickets: http://www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on/cat-hat



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