Reviewed by Jan Mellor
I was very excited to see The Cat in the Hat, as were the throngs of toddlers who waited in the foyer to go in to see their hero. Some were dressed in red and white stripped hats and some wore tee-shirts emblazoned with ‘Thing 1 ‘or ‘Thing 2’ (even some grown-ups joined in this hero-worship of Dr. Seuss’ fictional characters).
As the doors opened 15 minutes late from the start time of 5.30pm, the young ones were getting restless and the parents anxious. When we were let through into the theatre we were met by an excellent ‘drawn’ room on stage that made the book come alive.
As the characters boy and Sally (played brilliantly by Sam Angell and Melissa Lowe) enter the stage complaining about the rain and having to play in doors, they set the children screaming and the grown-ups giggling amused as they were sprayed with water from their threatening water guns. It was joyous. Then along came the goldfish, in a hail of bubbles (that the children adored) and dry ice in her bubble-like bowl to sing about being a fish (exquisitely sung and played by Charley Magalit). The magic had begun! Then the main man – Cat- appeared and the children went wild. The cat (played by the enigmatic Nana Amoo-Gottfried) proceeded to do the famous standing on the ball carrying a variety of objects stint and the youngsters screamed with thrilled enthusiasm.
The second act introduced us to the impish ‘things’ whose acrobatic talent were demonstrated with sheer skill and expert timing. The ‘cat’ and the ‘things’ are sent away due to their manic destructive behaviour, but the ‘cat’ returns to tidy up and join in with the final song the ‘cleaning up song’. It was fun, unique, family friendly and made us, the audience (of all ages), far lighter hearted as we left the theatre smiling and muttering ‘that was fun’.
I really enjoyed this, as did my teenage son. The children, toddlers and grandparents were mesmerised and as a family show, it kept everyone entertained. There is a lot of audience (children and parents!) participation – that captivated the young ones, there were sing-a-longs, acrobatic stints and tricks and great choreography, fabulous! A great performance – well done.
A HUGE hit for the LITTLE ones. Great family fun!
Tickets cost from £10 to £30 (booking fees may apply).
The Cat in the Hat is at the Liverpool Playhouse from 12-16 February 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.everymanplayhouse.com or call the box office on 0151 709 4776