Printable CopySEUSSICAL
Northern Light Theatre Company
Shedley Theatre
Until 20 Oct 2018

Review by Paige Mulholland

It’s easy to assume that a musical based on the stories of Dr. Seuss, with cast members aged as young as six, would be just for kids. But Northern Light’s “Seussical” unequivocally proves that you’re never too old to enjoy a story about a cat wearing a jaunty hat and an elephant who hears voices, particularly when the production is as strong as this one.

“Seussical” is based on an amalgamation of Dr. Seuss books, and follows the stories of Horton the Elephant’s quest to save the dust-speck-sized planet of Who; Jojo, the son of the mayor of Who, who gets sent to military school for thinking too much; and The Cat in the Hat, who narrates the story and, as usual, causes chaos. If you’re willing to suspend disbelief and live in the simple, wildly creative world of Dr Seuss, the plot is dynamic, fast moving, and plenty of fun.

Youth theatre has exploded in Adelaide in the past decade but it’s rare to see all ages working together. From the tiny and cute to the grown-up and commanding, this cast works seamlessly together. Although the cast began the show with a few uncertain musical entries, they warmed up quickly and quickly won the audience over. It’s a shame that the show’s sound didn’t do the cast justice. With headset microphones sometimes cutting out and feeding back, or no audible stage microphones, it was often hard to hear the performers, particularly the ensemble members who had one or two featured lines.

David Salter is a crowd favourite as The Cat in the Hat, engaging with the crowd and performing both his rehearsed dialogue and his improvised jokes with total confidence and charisma. Sebastian Cooper and Amy Nagesh are both thoroughly endearing as Horton the Elephant and Gertrude McFuzz and are supported by an excellent cast of supporting and ensemble performers.

The set and costumes were colourful, creative, and very much in the style of Dr Seuss – Gertrude’s tail and the costumes for the nightmarish “hunches” prompted audible excitement from the audience.

Northern Light Theatre Company should be very proud of this production. The audience was exceptionally loud and enthusiastic, and the performers were performing to a very high standard and, by the looks of it, having exceptional fun. Whether or not you’re a fan of Dr. Seuss, this production is bound to entertain you, excite you, and leave you thinking some truly unusual thinks.