Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is a musical based on the Christmas classic book of the same title. Featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” the story of the musical follows the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is ‘two sizes too small’ wanting to steal Christmas away from the Holiday loving Whos. The show broke box office records for two consecutive years on Broadway. Since then, more than 2 million people across America have been thrilled by this heart-warming musical. This year, the musical got its UK debut as produced by Simon Friend, Running Subway Productions, Gavin Kalin and Phil McIntyre Entertainments it embarked on a UK Tour and now it is spreading the joy and love of the christmas season in Salford as it opened at the Lowry to a nearly sold-out house!
I love how cleverly the show was written by Timothy Mason (based on the original book by Dr. Seuss of course!) as the idea of Old Max (Grinch's beloved dog) narrating the show and giving us a flashback to his younger life (which is the time when the Grinch hated christmas) was just brilliant and beautifully done by Giff Rhys Jones who played the said role of Old Max perfectly. Max's younger version was played by the charming Matt Terry mostly known for his appearance on X Factor who was just great casting choice for this role as Terry had his dance moves on point, acting mastered and singing just like an angel. Both Rhys Jones's and Terry's physicality and vocals of their characters were extremely well thought through and they both gave a memorable and lovable performance!
The Grinch was played by Edward Baker-Duly and wow... I was just astounded and speechless and how insanely incredible Baker-Duly's performance was! Every aspect of his portrayal was sublime and I have never seen kids in the audience of any show paying so much attention to a single character until this show and Baker-Duly's ultimate masterpiece of acting. Baker-Duly's use of vocal techniques was just impeccable and his facial expressions were absolutely hilarious. Honestly, I am absolutely in love with everything Baker-Duly did to make the Grinch really come alive on stage and it is definitely a piece of acting that I will forever remember!
Young Max played by Matt Terry and the Grinch played by Edward Baker-Duly
Cindy Lou-Who was played by the adorable Isla Gie who had the audience aww-ing every time she made an appearance as her performance was simply extremely cute. Her acting was just out-of-this world and her singing was stunning so I can definitely see Gie going very far in the future as she is already stealing the audiences hearts not even reaching the age of 10 yet! Gie is very gifted with the talent that she's got and it was a pure joy to watch her shine on stage.
I must also give mention to the whole ensemble of this musical as they were all insanely talented and their energy and happiness on stage was just endless. Each one of them had their own character which I thought was brilliant as they all had lots of flexibility with what they want their character to be and I loved that each one of them really created a different character with different personalities and relationships.
The cast of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical
The direction by Matt August was magnificent and slick, and the choreography by Bob Richard was mesmerizing and cute! The set, designed by John Lee Beatty, was very clever and imaginative with all of the set pieces looking like they were drawn (giving me flashback to looking at the beautiful illustrations in the original Dr. Seuss book), and the costumes designed by Robert Morgan were greatly impressive and once again imaginative.
The only thing I would say though is please don't expect the musical to be like the film! It is based on the book so you will not find some bits or most of the dialogue from the film... but the musical version is still better than the film. And yeah, the hit song 'Where Are You Christmas' is also not in the show but instead you get a stunning and catchy score by Mel Marvin that even has a heart-warming duet ballad for Cindy Lou-Who and the Grinch that will bring a tear to your eye!
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Overall, this is a heart-warming, feel-good musical that is a Christmas MUST-SEE this year in Manchester so don't be a Grinch and book your tickets now!