This is our review of The Cat in the Hat at the Rose Theatre in Kingston which is on from Wednesday 10th April to Sunday 21st April 2019.
My three daughters (age 3, 7 & 9) were delighted to be going to see the Dr Seuss’ Cat in the Hat at the Rose Theatre in Kingston this Easter holiday. The notice on the door to the stalls warned of water pistols, confirming our suspicions that were going to witness some mayhem.
Dr. Seuss’ tale of a crazy, anarchic, hat-wearing cat has been sparking the imagination of kids for over 60 years. First written as an escape from the everyday ‘Dick and Jane’ reading books available at the time, Cat in the Hat is a wonderful example of Dr Seuss’ fun-filled writing. The cat appears on the doorstep of two children one rainy day, when they have declared they have nothing to do. Mayhem ensues as the cat shows the children that there is lots of fun to be had.
This wonderful stage adaptation jumps straight into the energetic performance you might expect, with Sally and her brother playing games with the audience on a rainy day. We didn’t have to wait long for the water pistols to appear and the front rows of the stalls got quite a soaking. The loud music and sound effects slightly over-powered the vocals at first, but gave you an idea of the fun to come. The audience were immediately immersed in the show, quickly foiling the boy’s attempts to hide from his sister, followed swiftly by jumping to their feet for a sing-a-long rain dance. After crashes of thunder and flashes of lightning the lights faded and the audience settle back down into their seats as the tale of the Cat in the Hat began.
Sally and her brother take us through their story in a set beautifully designed to look like a page from Dr. Seuss’s book. In amongst a flurry of bubbles, their fish appears with a wonderfully operatic performance, in her own giant bubble and elegant costume cleverly reflecting Dr Seuss’ original illustration.
The Cat makes a flamboyant entrance, in a stylish suit and hat. His mission to entertain begins with an impressive balancing act stood on a large ball. As the contents of the house fall to the floor the action breaks for the interval. The audience returned 20 minutes later, eager to find out how the Cat’s balancing act ended.
The Cat introduces mischievous Thing 1 and Thing 2 who are master acrobats and the chaos steps up a gear. Kite flying, a rampage through the audience, a giant net, somersaults and acrobatics galore make for a truly exciting climax, before the Cat and his Things are sent packing and Sally and her brother start the tidying up. The audience are left pondering whether they would tell their mum what had happened that day… and it doesn’t take long for the children in the audience to shout a resounding no!
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