The Cat in the Hat at the PleasanceCultureTheatre
This energetic, vibrant show based on the classic children’s book by Dr Seuss tells the story of two kids with nothing to do on a rainy day, until a tall anthropomorphic cat (in, indeed, a hat) comes along to teach them how to make their own fun.
This play is aimed at young children, and there is plenty to draw kids in. The actors have a good manner and the level of interaction if suitable and well-paced. From captivating bubbles that fall from above, to big inflatable balls being bounced around the auditorium, there is always something happening. The level of comedy is also pitched well, and although it only drew an occasional wry smile from the adults, the kids reacted well to the show.
David Shields and Barbara Williams’ faithful design is drawn straight from the book (no pun intended) and is instantly recognisable and friendly. It leaves the stage feeling a bit empty in the Stagespace at the Pleasance, although admittedly the show might not have fit into a smaller venue.
The adaptation uses all the original text, but expounded here and there to milk some physical comedy out. It is unclear whether the idea was to disregard Dr Seuss’ very strong signature rhythms or to include them. Sometimes they’re prevalent, and sometimes they are ignored completely – it would be less distracting if director Lillie Collier had chosen one or the other.
There are moments of good choreography, which work in tandem with great sound design to really bring the magic of the Cat to life on the stage. The kids were captivated and delighted by the comedy and chaos to be found here. While this production does nothing special for anyone over the age of eight, it serves as a fun and exciting introduction to theatre for younger children.
Cat in the Hat is on at Pleasance Theatre until 4th January 2015, for further information or to book visit here.