The Cat in the Hat, painted by parent and local artist Mike Russell

KYDS YOUTH DRAMA SOCIETY
SEUSSICAL JR
Directed by Alexandra Berriman
Choreography Aaron Owen Bailey & Aimee Smith
Performed at the Thurstable School Tiptree

5th July 2013

One of the best productions I have seen KYDS perform in every aspect of the production.

The cast all gave very creditable performances from Peter Greenwood as The Cat through to all the main characters and smaller roles.

Abigail Morgan as Gertrude McFuzz was excellent getting the character spot on and looking so right in this part.

Daisy Greenwood as Maysie La Bird was delightful in a very eye catching costume with a good interpretation of her character.

Andrew Stocker as JoJo and Dan Carr as Horton the Elephant were both in supporting parts as was Emily Mead as the Sour Kangaroo and all gave good performances.

All the costumes were splendid throughout the show and the overall singing from the company the strongest I have heard.

The vitality and commitment was obvious and came over to the audience very strongly. The production is a very popular one at the moment and this version of Seussical Jr suited KYDS so well and it semed to really “take off” from the start in a most positive way.

I would also like to comment on the layout and quality of the programme which was very well collated with a lot of interest within it including the famous “Green Eggs & Ham” recipe which we all must try out!

Well done to the whole company for a terrific effort .This show had really been worked on with the entire cast and the hard work put in paid off.

I look forward to your next production and hope that you continue to achieve success.

Ann Platten

 

North Essex Theatre Guild

Showcase Festival 2012 – 2013

KYDS Youth Drama Society

Seussical Jr

Directed by Alexandra Berriman

Saturday July 6th 2013

 

 

Introduction

On a very hot summer day, the school hall was thankfully cool. An enthusiastic audience, with lots of children, were waiting eagerly for the show to begin.

Front of House

I received a very warm welcome from the team and was shown to my seat. The programme was one of the best I’ve seen for a long time. It was very well set out, colourful and informative. There was a puzzle page to keep the children occupied, a recipe for Green Eggs and Ham, black and white cast photos and some lovely rehearsal photos in colour, which showed how much fun those rehearsals must have been. The programme notes about KYDS made it sound an attractive group to join. Well done, James.

Sound and Lighting

The pre-show music was slightly odd but I assume that it was to set the scene for what was to come.

The opening music was sufficiently loud as to make people jump – always a good start to a show. Backing tracks were used and the sound levels were set well so at no time did the music overpower the singers. Occasionally, the microphones for the Bird Girls didn’t come on straight away and some lines of the song were lost.

The lighting was used to totally change the mood of the scene and to enhance the songs.

Set

The set was comparatively simple but worked really well. There was a raised area at the back of the stage with steps either side and two trees in silhouette. Set at the front of the stage were feathery pom poms in pink, lilac and blue. The bath managed to be both cartoon like but with touches of realism. The tree where Horton sits on Mayzie’s egg was a wonderful construction with a red and white striped trunk. This was obviously a challenge, to build a structure that could be wheeled onto the stage but was strong enough to bear the weight of Horton and easy enough to climb. The set builders can be justly proud of themselves.

 

Costumes and Make up

I thought the costumes were good, then I Googled other productions for comparison. Now I know that the costumes were brilliant! All of the cast looked bright and colourful. Mayzie’s costume was great, with a black frilled skirt and a sequinned top with a riot of bright colours. Long black gloves and feathered wings completed the look. The kangaroo outfit gave just the right shape – a grey fur suit with oversized thighs and a pouch for the baby. The Birds looked gorgeous in their red sparkly dresses with fringed hems. The chorus outfits were good, whether they were animals, Whos or hunters. The Cat looked perfect with black shirt and trousers and the iconic red and white hat. Horton had brown trousers, a gilet and a cleverly made set of big ears and a trunk which allowed his facial expression to be seen.

Make up was of a high standard, with lots of animal face painting needed.

The Cat. Peter Greenwood

From his first entrance, bursting out of a box, Peter was the Cat! He looked perfect, tall, and slim and clad in black. His movements had feline grace and he had a good singing voice and stage presence. Often having to remain at the side of the stage as a spectator to the action, Peter was always in character.

Horton. Dan Carr

This was a lovely performance from Dan. He made Horton a character with depth, showing a range of emotions. We saw Horton’s caring, concerned nature and his discomfort and unhappiness. Dan has a very pleasing singing voice and I especially liked “Alone in the Universe”. Very well done, Dan. You’ve made me want to read Dr Seuss!

JoJo. Andrew Stocker

Andrew made the most of his role as the young and adventurous Who and was a likeable character.

Gertrude McFuzz. Abigail Morgan

Another star performance. Abigail brought out the pathos in Gertrude and also the humour as she struggled with all her wished for feathers! She sang beautifully and worked very well with Horton. Abigail showed what a good musical theatre actress she is.

Mayzie La Bird. Daisy Greenwood

Daisy was confident in both her singing and her dancing. She conveyed all of Mayzie’s moods, from her self-absorption, her dissatisfaction with her life, and her boredom at Palm Beach. Good acting and a character with heaps of attitude. Well done, Daisy.

The Sour Kangaroo .Emily Mear

A sassy performance from Emily, with good singing.

Mr and Mrs Mayor. Matthew Russell and Phoebe Jowett

A good pairing, they worked well together, showing concern and fear as their son goes missing.

 

The Wickersham Brothers. Cheyenne Coleman, Ben Collins, Matthew Greed

 

Really good team playing from this trio. They were not kind monkeys, taunting Horton. All their movements were spot on, with arms hanging down and a shambling gait.

The Bird Girls. Sophie Stocker, Rebecca Shortland, Becky Wright

These young ladies were the classic all girl backing group. They looked lovely, and sang well. They spent time preening their hair and feathered headbands, which all added to their bird-like demeanour.

The Jungle Animals and Whos

This was a very hard working and versatile chorus, who all sang, danced and acted to a high standard and enriched the production with their presence. Well done to all of you.

Conclusion

I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t looking forward to this production. I’ve never seen the attraction of the Dr Seuss books but this was one of the best shows I’ve seen this year! From the opening chorus, when a riot of colour and sound burst onto the stage, I was tapping my feet in time to the music. The songs were well written and catchy. I found myself humming one particular song all week!

Choreography was well executed – simple and crisp but always spot on.

I loved the line from one of the songs “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

The underwater scene was done well, with smoke, some fish on screens and the lovely jelly fish, floating around.

Positioning was always good for the ensemble numbers. All the cast, whether principals or chorus, remained focussed and in character at all times.

The duet with Horton and Gertrude was beautifully sung.

My only small criticism was that one character (who I won’t single out) tended to pace to and fro during a song, in a fidgety manner, rather than either being more still or moving with purpose.

This was a wonderful choice of musical, perfectly suited for the age of the cast, and with strong principals like Dan, Peter, Abigail and Daisy, it couldn’t fail. I only wish I could have seen it again and brought all my friends! Alex, you can be so proud of this production. I’m sure it was sometimes hard work but the end result was something special.

Thank you so much for a great afternoon’s entertainment and I wish the group every success in the future.

Jane Rayner