THE stories of Dr Seuss are staple fare in the US, but have never made it so big this side of the Atlantic. We have Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s musical compendium to thank for introducing the unforgettable characters and magical worlds to generations of British children and their parents.
Yeovil Youth Theatre has chosen the show for its 13th production, again giving young performers from the South Somerset and West Dorset areas a chance to shine on a big stage. Paul Nicholas Dyke’s production not only uses the stage but the whole auditorium, involving the audience in the stories of the kindly elephant Horton, the ditzy Mayzie and the besotted Gertrude, along with JoJo and the ubiquitous Cat in the Hat.
Throw in The Grinch, Gen Genghis Kahn Schmitz and an authoritarian judge for good measure and this quick-fire tale of love and loss and selfishness and prejudice comes to colourful life to delight audiences of all ages.
The jazzy score is directed by Matthew Holmes with a band including the unmistakable sounds of Paul Denegri and Jamie Phippen.
Like all YYT shows, this is an ensemble effort, and as usual there are no weak links.
But outstanding in this talented cast are the super-elegant Sterling Wilder-Gay as the Cat in the Hat and other supporting characters, Tom Forrest as an enchanting Horton, Jessamy Bowditch as the lovely Ms McFuzz and Liam Beard as JoJo, with Lois Froude leading the girls as Mayzie la Bird.
It’s a great show, packed with songs, dances and thought-provoking moments, and yet another smash hit from YYT. Here’s to the next 13.