Review: The Cat in the Hat at Liverpool Playhouse

Photo: Manuel Harlan

By Andy Green

CURVE and Rose Theatre Kingston’s production of Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss arrived at the Playhouse last night – slightly later than billed but it was worth the wait.

First of all it looks great, Isla Shaw’s cartoonish design looks simple but effective but as the show progresses you realise just how clever it is.

Hydrophobes beware; there’s a good chance you’ll get wet in the opening few minutes. Very powerful water pistols, reminiscent of an Everyman panto, are used to great effect to delight the young audience and cause grown men to cower under their coats – not me I might add, I sat there and took it like the butch thing I am.

This show is perfect for its target audience, the kids are engaged and enthralled from the start as Boy (Sam Angell) and Sally (Melissa Lowe) involve them in their magical and anarchic capers.

It’s a very physical show with cartwheels and back flips from Angell and Lowe drawing gasps from the youngsters. But that’s nothing compared to when Thing 1 (Celia Francis) and Thing 2 (Robert Penny) take to the stage – they take the gymnastics to a whole new level.

Nana Ammo-Gottfried plays the Cat with a mischievous menace. He also displays a very good sense of balance, spending time standing on a ball and perched on a couple of upturned chairs. Don’t try that at home!

Charley Magalit plays Fish with a wonderful operatic voice and makes a quite spectacular entrance in her ‘bowl’.

At just 30 minutes for each half, the show isn’t too long for the very young members of the audience and the energy doesn’t flag for a second with every member of the cast giving it their all.

This is brilliant entertainment for the Cbeebies age group. If you’ve got kids that age, take them, they’ll have a ball.

The Cat in the Hat is at the Playhouse until Saturday 16 February