the musical is soon to be seen in Tiverton at the New Hall.
It runs from November 27 to December 2. With a cast of 47
players (only 20 of them adults), the show promises to be yet another
triumph of the Willow Tree Theatre Company.
At the Sunday afternoon rehearsals, held in the Memorial Hall, the
place is packed with enthusiastic performers of all ages, reading lines and
practising the many songs that are included in the show.
It will be no mean feat to introduce theatregoers to all our old
favourites from the Dr Seuss books that were originally written in the 1940s
and are as popular today as when they first came out.
Obviously the Cat in the Hat will be there, but so will
Horton the elephant (who found himself with the sole responsibility for
hatching an egg), the Grinch, Mayzie, Schmitz, the Sour Kangaroo, and of
course Yertle the Turtle, plus many more.
The show has had very successful runs in London and on Broadway,
and was originally co-conceived by Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame, who
co-wrote it with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
With sponsorship from John Heathcoat and Co Ltd, which has
supported the company's annual shows for a number of years, the Willow Tree
Theatre Company is otherwise almost self-sufficient. The costumes are
all designed and made in-house by Denise James and her able assistants,
while the scenery is designed and built by members of the production team.
Show director Jon Sowden, (who in a previous life was a professional London
director who was, among other things, deeply involved with the late Queen
Mother's 90th Birthday celebration), and the musical director Hilary Wickham
ensure that everything goes with a "swing".
And swing it will, as the show will be
giving audiences approximately two and a quarter hours of golden
entertainment. Many of the players attend the Willow Tree Centre of
Dance & Performing Arts, a well-established start for a performing career,
whose students can range in age from "three to three hundred years".
Indeed, 11-year-old Connor Van Bussel, who has a supporting role in
Seussical, has recently auditioned for the part of Billy Elliot in
Twelve-year-old Sammie Firbanks summed up the atmosphere and
potential success of this production, when she said: "I am really enjoying
being part of Seussical, it gives me a chance to use all of my
skills. It is great fun to be acting, singing and dancing on stage
with all my friends, and it means a lot to me to be in this show. The
music in Seussical is really exciting and the show has something for
Tickets for the show can be obtained either through Waterstone's
Bookshop, previously Ottakars, in Fore Street, Tiverton, or for group
tickets at reduced rates, by telephoning company manager Steve Gage.
There will also be a Seussical fundraising Christmas Fayre
at the Memorial Hall on Saturday November 18 from 12 noon to 3pm.
If you want to be enchanted, and watch a show that has brought
magic to audiences in London and on Broadway, I urge you to get some
Article by Penny Smale (Youth