The Lorax review

Theatre, Children's
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
The Lorax, Old Vic
© Manuel Harlan

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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This enjoyable puppet adaptation of Dr Seuss's eco-parable returns for half-term

Dr Seuss's oddball rhymes have haunted the bedtimes of many children and parents, and this hit theatrical adaptation of 'The Lorax' does a good job of bringing them to life for the stage.

'The Lorax' is a dastardly tale of ecological woe, in couplets. It concerns the Once-ler - a young entrepreneurial type who massacres a forest paradise to produce a totally pointless consumer product called a 'thnood'.

In Max Webster's swaggering show, this bleach-haired bicycling zany is played with tremendous angular charm and energy by the returning Simon Paisley-Day. But he's basically upstaged by a puppet: the whiskery, gingery beaverish Lorax, the spokesperson for the troubled trees.

Puppeteers David Ricardo-Pearce, Ben Thompson and Laura Caldow are fantastically skilful bringing the Lorax into being. He talks like a retired Brigadier and pounces and twists like an otter as he tries and fails to persuade the avid Once-ler to moderate his activities. There's plenty food for thought in a show that, sadly, will still be topical for many years to come. 

Designer Rob Howell creates a garish, vivid world onstage, and Charlie Fink's music punches up the volume even further. It could all do with a cut as the tale thins out towards its end, but it's impressively produced family entertainment with a worthy moral at its heart.

 

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