Touring – reviewed at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Guest reviewer: Sarah Moyes
Dr Seuss’s famous Cat in the Hat has been brought to life in this new version of the much-loved children’s book on at the King’s Theatre this week.
The Leicester Curve’s production has been created in association with the National Centre for Circus Arts and follows the story of the 1957 children’s classic about the Cat in the Hat who unexpectedly turns up at the house of Sally and her brother while their mother is away.
What might have been another typical day for the children, turns out to be a whirlwind of mayhem and adventure with the Cat and his quirky friends.
The fun begins the moment we’re introduced to Sally (Melissa Lowe) and her brother (Sam Angell). The excitable siblings appear on stage in their matching yellow rain jackets and wellies before running through the stalls trying to soak each other with their water pistols. It leads to lots of hysterics and shrieks from the children in the audience, especially those close enough to be splashed by the water.
As the pair retreat to their home, there’s lots of entertaining physical comedy before we meet the children’s fish, played by the delightful Charley Magalit. She makes her grand entrance in what can only be described as a large hamster ball as bubbles float through the theatre.
Isla Shaw really has done an inspiring job on the costumes and the set which mirrors a cartoon strip with lots of surprising moving parts and lights.
Nana Amoo-Gottfield gives an enjoyable performance as the Cat, although it feels like the show missed a trick by keeping him in the wings until half way through the first act. When he does appear, he shows off his acrobatic skills spending the majority of the first act balanced on a giant ball while Sally and her brother try to balance lots of different household objects on him.
We don’t get the chance to meet Thing 1 and Thing 2 until 10 minutes into the second act which seems a shame given how much energy and mayhem they bring to the performance.
simple yet fun
While the show is following the words of the original book, the more entertaining moments happen when all the characters are present, and that doesn’t occur until later in the story.
The cast of The Cat in the Hat.
Acrobats Celia Francis and Robert Penny are captivating as Things 1 and 2, darting around the stage and climbing up the set before tumbling down in an impressive fashion to the children’s mattress below.
The original songs by Tasha Taylor Johnson are perfectly suited for a younger audience. They are simple yet fun, with lots of audience interaction and dance moves that all the children and their sometimes willing parents can enjoy.
The Cat in the Hat is the purrfect way to introduce young children to the magical world of theatre – a fun, joyous and magical show.
Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including interval)
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ.
Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 February2019
Evenings: 7pm; Matinees Thursday 2pm, Saturday 11am and 2pm.
Tickets and details: Book here.
The Cat in the Hat on tour:
6 Feb – 9 Feb
0131 529 6000
12 – 16 Feb
0151 709 4776
19 – 23 Feb
26 Feb – 3 March
0121 236 4455
7 – 9 March
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
01483 44 00 00
12 – 16 March
Assembly Hall Theatre
01892 530 613
20 – 24 March
Nuffield Southampton Theatres
023 8067 1771
27 – 31 March
0191 230 5151
10 – 21 April
Rose Theatre Kingston
020 8174 0090