Seussical the Musical makes leap from page to stage

Gilbert and Sullivan Society's Seussical the Musical''Brian Jordan as the Cat in the Hat
Gilbert and Sullivan Society's Seussical the Musical''Brian Jordan as the Cat in the Hat

EVEN if, like Sam, you do not like green eggs and ham, you’ll love Seussical.

The Broadway musical is a mixture of the most famous books written by Dr Seuss, and is coming to the Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields, next month.

It is the latest offering from the South Shields Gilbert and Sullivan Society and promises to be a treat for the whole family.

Director Gareth Hunter, from South Shields, said: “The story is really hard to explain, but it’s a mixture of the Dr Seuss books.

“The main story is Horton Hears A Who, which was made into a film in 2008 with Jim Carrey doing the voice of Horton the elephant.

“But there’s also The Grinch, who Jim Carrey also played, and The Cat In The Hat, who was played by Mike Myers in the film.

“The Cat kind of acts as the narrator to the story, and we’ve got all the characters like Sour Kangaroo, The Whos and the Mayor of Whoville. There are about 70 characters altogether.”

The 32-year-old added: “The Dr Seuss books are very moral and that’s what is really great about them.

“Kids get the meaning of the story without even realising it, and they actually deal with some deep issues, like adoption.

“The way it’s written is very clever because even though it sometimes sounds like gibberish, it’s actually very moralistic.

“I wanted to bring out the human element of the show, so we’ve been really careful with our costumes and tried to represent the animals rather than dress the actors up like them.

“The music is great too and there’s all different kinds of genres, like pop, rumba, calypso and rock.

“The show isn’t set in a particular place or time so it doesn’t have to stick to a certain style – it really has something for everyone.”

The mischievous Cat In The Hat is played by South Shields actor Brian Jordan.

The 38-year-old, who now lives in Houghton-le-Spring, said: “The Cat in the Hat is a great part to play. It’s a lot of fun, and there’s a lot of interaction with the audience.

“The show is all music, with maybe only a tiny bit of dialogue, which sometimes puts people off, but I love it.

“Rehearsals have been so much fun and people should expect a few surprises. The show is for all ages – it’s definitely a family show.”

In preparation for the show, Brian, a lecturer at Pallion Centre, Sunderland, has been taking part in circus training, learning to spin plates and even ride a unicycle.

Director Gareth added: “I really wanted Brian to be like The Cat in the film, popping up everywhere, whether that’s on stage, in the audience, or even the foyer.

“He’s going to be worn out by the end of the show, but it’ll be great.”

Seussical the Musical runs at the Customs House from February 14 to 18. Tickets cost £13 with an £11 concession, call 454 1234.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVicki