|Date||4th February 2022|
|Society||Nottingham Arts Theatre|
|Venue||Nottingham Arts Theatre|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Gareth Wynne|
Author: Martin Holtom
After a long tiring week, I entered the Arts Theatre with no real expectations as to what I was going to experience from my first visit to see the Nottingham Arts Youth Theatre and their production of Seussical. But having, in my childhood, a much cherished and very heavily thumbed hardback copy of ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ I was distantly familiar with the fantastical world that I was about to enter and, thanks to the enthusiasm of the cast and quality of this production, within the first number, I was swept away to the Jungle of Nool and Horton the elephant’s discovery of the Who’s in a speck of multi-coloured dust.
Although there were some characters that stood out, this was very much an ensemble production by a young and very talented cast supported by an excellent band, led on the night by Jon Orton as Gareth was unwell.
Louis Barnes-Cupit as The Cat in the Hat/The Grinch together with, Oliver Halford Horton the Elephant, Freya Rhodes Gertrude McFuzz, Emily-Hope Wilkins Mayzie La Bird and Eloise Rees Boy/Jo Jo, drove the narrative throughout the production with a lightness of touch and understanding of their characters that was simply superb. You could see that they were enjoying themselves and this enjoyment and quality of vocal and acting performance was infectious.
George Young and Caitlin Young were great as Mr and Mrs Mayor bringing light and shade to their performances and what shone out from the whole of the supporting cast was the sheer enjoyment and attention to detail from all of their performances so take a bow Charlotte, Hattie, Kate, Sophie, Florence, Louis, Charles, Megan, Zach and Julian. Every team member brought a joy to the production with the uninterrupted action expertly choreographed by Jessica which moved rapidly thanks to the effective staging and great musical support from the 11-piece band. The music was in fact so strong and accurate that I had to check at the interval to see if it was a backing track, which of course it wasn’t!
The production team smashed this performance out of the theatre. The attention to detail in movement from principal and supporting cast alike, the vocal work, characterisation and choreography were all superbly judged. The enjoyment of every member of the cast was there for all to see in every scene which resulted in a very warm response from the audience throughout and a well-deserved standing ovation to close the night.
Many congratulations to Christopher, Gareth and Jessica for pulling this off in the middle of a pandemic and I look forward to seeing you again for Footloose in 2023.