We’ve been to Durham several times and walked past the Gala Theatre. We’d never stepped foot into the building until last night, when we went to see Seussical the Musical.
Durham Gala Theatre
The Gala Theatre is a new modern building right in the centre of Durham. It’s interior is clean simple and modern and reminds me a little of the Northern Stage. In the Main Stage, the simple clean modern theme continues and as it’s new the seats are still comfortable.
Seussical the Musical
When we announce that we had tickets to see Seussical the Musical, Imogen’s face lit up. Abigail on the other hand did her usual “Aye?” kind of noise and twist of her nose. The Reason is Imogen has a couple of Dr Seuss books and loves reading the tongue twister style verse. She also insist on me reading it to her. Abigail, hasn’t quite had any experience of Dr Seuss yet, except for watching the film “the Lorax”, once.
Seussical is a Musical which recounts the tale of Horton the Elephant, who hears a Who (possibly similar to the film “Horton Hears a who”, but I’ve never seen it). The Whos live on a tiny speck, which lands on a Clover flower. Unfortunately for him, he gets so obsessed with protecting the Whos that everyone thinks he has gone crazy as no one else has seen or heard them. As with all good Musicals there is a love story that involves a love struck bird (Gertrude), who can;t get the attention of Horton and he can’t see her infatuation.
The Whole story is pushed along with the narration of the Cat in the Hat and a handful of catchy songs that do worm their way into your head.
This production was put on by the Gala Theatre Stage School. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, from the production or the musical at all. I’ll quickly add in that all 4 of the Hoopers loved it. We felt that the lead character actors were strong and have a great future ahead of them.
The Cat in the Hat (Megan Atkinson-Hook) lead the production with her continuous performance. It seemed as though she was always on stage. Whether it was in the full size world or miniaturised in the Whos world. Horton (Harry Oliver), also excelled in his role as the elephant. At first I didn’t quite get the costume, but as the show continued I was absorbed into the story and characters, that it all came together. Finally Jo Jo (Robin Lee) also deserves a special mention as her confidence in her character stood out and helped pull the show together. I know from my own experience that the word written by Seuss aren’t the easiest to say, let alone dance, sing and act while remembering the tongue twisting lyrics.