The Lorax @The Old Vic, 04/12/2015

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better. It’s not.” Says the Once-ler at the end of Dr. Seuss childrens’ book. The beloved American author has delivered the basis to many heart-warming Hollywood hits and has played a big role in many a child’s life growing up. I first learned about Dr. Seuss when I worked as a nanny in the US as we didn’t have his books back home in Germany. And even now the translated books are nowhere near as good as the English versions.

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I can say from experience, that I haven’t seen a single play at The Old Vic that I did not like. However, I was quite intrigued to see how this was going to play out knowing the Lorax would be played by a puppet. The childrens’ book was adapted for the stage by David Greig and is truly a treat for kids small and big.

The story in short: The Lorax is the spirit of the trees who goes on a mission to protect the earth’s trees from the Once-ler who wants to use the Truffula trees for his newly world-famous Thneed. If half of these words don’t make any sense to you then know: they’re not supposed to! It’s Dr. Seuss and names and places are never ordinary. The message is as old as global warming: if you chop down too many trees you won’t like what you’ll be left with.

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The staged version of The Lorax is both endearing and beautifully brought to life. The Truffula trees look like something you’d definitely want to take home. Kids and adults alike seem to be fascinated by the set, acting and the story from the first until the last minute. Very much like in the book the Once-ler, although the ‘villain’ of the story is still a loveable character and somehow you can relate to him making the decisions he makes. The other animals in the forest are also puppets or dressed up dancers, such as the yellow birds.

It was definitely a must-see play and I genuinely hope we have more Dr. Seuss on stage coming our way – how about a musical?

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