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Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Musical

“Confident stage adaptation”
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This musical adaptation of Dr Seuss’ festive classic wasn’t exactly greeted with Christmas cheer when it transferred to Broadway in 2006. But multiple remountings have helped hone it and Matt August’s slick and handsome touring production brings out the best of what is a slight and simple tale.

Edward Baker-Duly’s performance as the titular grump owes a lot to Jim Carrey’s big-screen incarnation. But he’s a confident comic presence, making his enjoyably grouchy Grinch a hit with the kids and his Scrooge-like redemption believable. Griff Rhys Jones is similarly assured as the older version of dog Max, anchoring the production with his welcoming, avuncular narration.

Timothy Mason’s book lightly extends Seuss’ slim story without adding too much unnecessary detail, striking the right balance between emotion and sentimentality.

Mason and Mel Marvin’s songs are a touch repetitive and it’s telling that the best number, You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch – written for a 1966 cartoon with lyrics by Seuss himself – predates this show.

But Michael Starobin’s lush orchestrations give the score an expansive, MGM musical-like feel. And a 12-piece onstage orchestra combines with John Lee Beatty’s inventive, sumptuous picture-book set and excellent wig, make-up and costume work to give the production a high-quality sheen.


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Production Details
Production nameDr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Musical
VenueThe Lowry
LocationSalford
StartsDecember 10, 2019
EndsJanuary 5, 2019
Running time1hr 50mins
ComposerMel Marvin
Book writerTimothy Mason
LyricistTimothy Mason
DirectorMatt August
Musical directorRichard John
OrchestratorMichael Starobin
ChoreographerJohn Deluca
Set designerJohn Lee Beatty
Costume designerRobert Morgan
Lighting designerBen Cracknell
Sound designerRichard Brooker
CastDavid Bardsley, Edward Baker-Duly, Griff Rhys Jones, Holly Dale Spencer, Karen Ascoe, Matt Terry
Stage managerRobin Turley Smith
ProducerEilene Davidson, Gavin Kalin, Phil McIntyre, Running Subway, Simon Friend
VerdictTop drawer production values and a committed cast shine in this confident stage adaptation
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Chris Bartlett

Chris Bartlett

Chris Bartlett

Chris Bartlett

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