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Children's shows - reviews

The Cat in the Hat

Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
11am, 25 July 2015

The Cat in the Hat is 45 minutes of glorious bonkers-ness – if that’s a word, which I’m pretty sure it isn’t but what the hell?!

Dr Seuss’s classic tells the story of two bored children whose wet afternoon alone is considerably livened up by a cat – wearing a hat. Domestic chaos ensues.

But this production is brilliantly organised chaos – it takes skill to direct such non-stop madness and mayhem and make the cast look fun and spontaneous while obviously being well-drilled. They had to be – anything less could have caused an accident!

Obviously it’s a very physical show, told in actions and Dr Seuss style rhyming narrative all on a striking Dr Seuss style red, black and white set with sound effects and music – and a bubble machine!

The Cat has loads of energy and moves the story along effortlessly but it’s very much an ensemble show with the cast working superbly as a team.

It’s lively throughout and so keeps even the youngest children enthralled but it’s when the Cat unleashes Thing 1 and Thing 2 that the anarchy reaches its peak.

They run through the audience accompanied by inflatable balls of all sizes including three huge ones which the audience have to keep moving. Weirdly, for V, who generally has no fear of anything, huge balls in the auditorium (ahem) is one of her pet hates so it was down to me and Mr A to valiantly keep them away from her so save her from climbing under her seat!

The show is a great adaptation of a classic and, at under an hour, short burst of sheer joy. When a cast look like they are having the time of their lives like this one did, you can’t help but enjoy yourself too. We all loved it!

V’s verdict
I liked the giant balls, it was actually my favourite bit, as long as they were kept away from me. I don’t mind when they are bouncing over other people. I also really liked the cat and how his costume was sticky so they could stick the objects on to him. I also liked the big “plop” sign because it’s a funny word!

Run time: 45 minutes (no interval)

Age range: 3+

Other stuff: No programme or merch. This was actually a relief but it it’s nice to have a cast list!

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