Thursday, November 15, 2012


Springers at the Cramphorn Theatre

"Seuss rules!" shouted one excited child, and it was probably the patrons in the booster seats who enjoyed this show the most.
It may not be great music theatre, but Springers gave it their best shot, and the result was a joyful, upbeat celebration of Dr Seuss and all his works, directed by Susan Corina.

The cartoon stage design, with a special detail for MD Ian Myers, looked fresh and colourful, and suited the child-friendly Play School style of the acting, notably from Aaron Crowe's excellent JoJo. All the principal characters gave lovely, larger-than-life performances: Ian Pavelin in a grey siren suit for Horton the elephant, Deborah Anderson as Gertrude, desperate to be noticed, her patter song expertly delivered, Mat Smith as the Cat in the Hat, with his feline physicality and his expressive cat's eyes.

Barry Miles scored a hit with his manic General, and there were broad-brush characterisations from Melissa Smart [Mayzie LaBird] and Natalie Petto [Sour Kangaroo].

Strong chorus work, too, from the Bird Girls – a great vocal trio – and the energetic Wickersham monkeys.

Stephen Flaherty's music ranges over many different styles, and some of them would have benefited from a microphone, even in the Cramphorn. But the close-up picture-book style worked very well, with impressive use of the stage in the production numbers like Chasing the Whos.

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