Reviewed by Rosemary Knight
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical must be the most eagerly anticipated show of the year. I viewed the performance yesterday evening at The Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays, Manchester and I must say that this magical show entirely lived up to my expectations. From the moment the curtain rose there was an explosion of singing and dancing and mayhem – an absolute joy.
The show is based on the much loved children’s book by Dr. Seuss and is set in the fictional town of Whoville, where everybody absolutely loves Christmas, apart from the mean old Grinch, who sets out to ruin the festive fun for all the inhabitants by dressing up as Santa and stealing the presents, the Christmas tree and all the festive treats while the town’s people are sleeping in their beds.
Whilst the Grinch is busy robbing all the Christmas goodies from the townsfolk, little Cindy Lou Who disturbs him and begins the process of melting his hard heart. Eventually, the people of Whoville show The Grinch that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t all about just giving and receiving presents, welcoming him into their midst and the Grinch’s tiny little heart grows three times bigger. The scene at the end of the first half of the show where the Grinch is riding on his sleigh, pulled along by his dog, Max, who is dressed up as a reindeer, is magical. Another wonderful moment is when the snow rains down upon the audience eliciting much appreciation from the crowd.
Edward Baker-Duly is absolutely magnificent in the starring role of the Grinch, whose ‘heart is two sizes two small’. Dressed in his green suit, he is super-cool and steals every scene. Comedian Griff Rhys Jones is excellent in his role of Old Max, the Grinch’s dog, narrating the story, whilst Young Max is played by former X Factor champion Matt Terry. Special mention must be given to eight-year-old Isla Gie who is adorable in her role as Cindy Lou Who. It’s hard to believe that such a young star could have such a huge stage presence. Her acting and singing ability are really impressive and I’m sure that she is destined to become a great star.
The show is full of jolly Christmas songs, which the audience are encouraged to sing along to, including ‘You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch’ and ‘Welcome Christmas’.
The fantastic, colourful stage sets and costumes are inspired by the original illustrations from the Dr. Seuss book, taking the audience into the magical world of Whoville town.
The Lowry always delivers with its amazing performances. I have been fortunate to be able to view many of the shows there, but Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas is right at the very top of the pile. The performance lasts at just under two hours, including the interval, so it is not too long for smaller children to become restless.
From start to finish this show is an absolute joy. If you get chance to do one thing this Christmas, take your family to the Lowry Theatre to watch this delightful performance. You will love every minute.
Tickets cost from £23.50 (booking fees may apply).
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is at The Lowry in Manchester from 10 December 2019 to 5 January 2020, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000