DR SEUSS’S HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS: THE MUSICAL
Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, Wed 20 Nov
Nothing marks the beginning of the festive season quite like the trickling emergence of Christmas stories around November – whether that be in the form of John Lewis adverts, Christmas films, or plays. I have been unashamedly listening to Christmas songs for a few weeks already, and therefore jumped at the opportunity to see the musical adaptation of a modern Christmas classic.
The show stars actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones and 2016 X Factor winner Matt Terry. Matt Terry showcases his vocals sporadically throughout the play, in his role as Max, the Grinch’s dog, and his talent is undeniable. Director Mat August has kept the musical similar to the book and film, with the only adjustment being an old version of the Grinch’s dog (played by Griff Rhys Jones) to fill in the gaps with the rhyming narrative. Doing so has successfully ensured that a quick pace is retained throughout the play.
Before mentioning the incredible performance of the Grinch, credit must be given to Bebe Massey who plays Cindy Lou. Not only does she manage to melt the Grinch’s heart, but ours as well. Edward Baker-Duly plays the perfectly sarcastic yet somehow adorable Grinch – treading the line between villain and charmer.
The score has been cleverly constructed to fit the story, and the choreography is an undeniable highlight. At one point, the words are written on a big script for the audience to join in – which was well received, particularly by the children in the crowd. The staging and costumes were also impressive. The play lends itself to the simplicity of children’s stories, which was echoed in the basic props. Although there was nothing overwhelming, this fit the genre. The story of the Grinch sells itself and is well-known enough to not need any show-off staging to overpower it.
Overall, the play did what was expected of it – it left me with a warm feeling of anticipation for Christmas. The chemistry between the cast was evident and their passion for storytelling and engagement with the young audience was exemplary. If you fancy tearing yourself a way from the TV this holiday season, or simply need something to re-ignite the spark of Christmas excitement, I would recommend a visit.
words REBECCA ASTILL
Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical is at Motorpoint Arena Cardiff until Sat 24 Nov. Tickets and info here.