Dr. Seuss’s THE LORAX

Adapted by David Grieg
Directed by Max Webster
A Mirvish Presentation at the Royal Alexandra Theatre
December 17, 20017-January 21, 2018

(L-R): Simon P. Day, Laura Caldow, Ben Thompson, and David Ricardo-Pearce (photo: Manuel Harlan)

Oh, for the days when the grassland was green
and the fluffy white clouds were always so clean
and swans in their song and birds in the breeze
spread charms in the land of Truffuler Trees
which swayed and smiled with their glorious glaze
leaving innocent kiddies in awesome amaze.
Don’t worry, you fans of the famed Dr. Seuss,
this show’s got not one single crazy screw loose.
Those with a liking for witty Ed Lear,
David Greig proves he’s as extraordinaire
who knows of the Lorax who’s lifted away
and who’ll spin you the tale if you’re willing to pay
with openness of mind and a generous heart
for every audience must play its part.

This story is told in fine wit and song
and it’s not in the slightest overly long
as it unfolds with skill and breath-taking speed
with its green villain Once-ler exploiting Thneed
causing Havoc! Alarm! as he chops down trees
with no decent concern for environmental freeze.
The loss of a tuft much softer than silk
means nothing to those of his preening ilk.
He’s like Donald Trump hell bent on gold
who lures each despicable into his fold
and lusting for bigger and biggerly growth
he makes filthy money almost by rote,
inventing a humungous Super-axe-hacker
to whack down the trees in a solitary smacker.
His business is such an enormous success
‘e don’t realize ‘e’s making a mess!
Nor does he perceive what pollution can do
thinking any of us would do much the same too.

But hooray for The Lorax, who speaks for the trees
which are being chopped down as fast as you please.
His poor Bar-ba-loots are all getting the crummies
for there’s no more good food, only gas in their tummies.
And, as he sees through the smogulous smoke
his sweet Swomee-Swans can now only croak.
Machines chug daily, and by night without stop
making Gluppity-Glupp and Schloppity-Schlopp.
But the kids will not mind this moral a bit
for there’s plenty of humour and music to fit.
Modern day kids are not easily enchanted
and adults well know not to take them for granted;
this intrepid troupe, over here from Old Blighty,
display their collective skills all a-mighty,
led by frightfully clever S.P. Day
as nasty old Once-ler who (Boo!) gets his say
before little Lorax, walrus moustache a-twitch,
is brought to puppet life without any glitch.
Wandering minstrels and dancers add colour and nerve
and a trio of singers, oh, mama, what verve!
Cheers for music and lyrics by fine Charlie Fink
who deftly ensures that the tale will not sink.
Rob Howell’s design has fable allure
to match Matilda: The Musical –that is for sure.
So, mommies and daddies, get your kids all in tow
and set all their sit-upons in a neat row
at the Royal Alexandra for a really nice treat
as I, rhyme exhausted, beat a hasty retreat.

(This review in rhyme had its scansion fine-tuned by M. Heidler)

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