Youngsters set to ramp up the entertainment in Dr Seuss show
- Credit: Archant
A promise of an amazing colourful production which will leave anyone with a skip in their step awaits those who wish to see the latest show to hit the stage of the Queen’s Theatre.
Broadway hit, Seussical, a musical based on the books and characters of Dr Seuss, is coming to the Hornchurch theatre in Billet Lane for three performances this weekend.
The cast is made up of around 120 young people aged seven to 18 who attend the Queen’s youth club each week.
“They have all had to work really hard and there have been extra Sunday rehearsals to put the production together,” said James Watson, the education officer at the theatre, who is directing, producing and designing the production.
“We have 25 to 30 principal characters with children as young as seven or eight playing them and this is why the show is so great because there are so many brilliant characters. There are opportunities across the youth theatre for everyone.
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“Everybody’s hard work and commitment is really starting to pay off. It’s a fantastic show.”
The cast have been learning the songs since February and have had a total of two hours a week for 16 weeks to rehearse – less time than a full working week.
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“Rehearsals are really busy and it can be really tiring,” said nine-year-old Christian Kraus from Harold Wood, who is playing a Wickersham Brother in Seussical.
“But I really love being with everyone and putting on a show – It’s fun and loud and crazy.”
Sane Walters, 12, from South Ockendon, who also plays a Wickersham Brother, added: “The zaniness of the show is unlike any other.”
A performance of this scale only happens every two years for the youth groups and the team hope each one is bigger and better than the last.
“It’s really professional,” said 14-year-old Sophia DeLucia from Hornchurch, who is playing a bird called Gertrude McFuzz, “it’s not like any other youth show.
“Everyone is so dedicated and it feels like being in the West End.
“I am so excited to get to sing a solo accompanied by a live band of professional musicians.
“I think we are all really lucky to have the chance to be in a show like this.”
The show itself is reputed to be lively, colourful and fantastical with so many complex story lines leaving none of the hilarious poetic favourite characters out.
“It’s a fun jam packed show that’s not just for kids as adults will love it too,” said Upminster’s Hollie Casey, 17, who is taking on the role of Mayzie La Bird.
“They will laugh and cry and definitely leave singing the songs, because they just get stuck in your head.
“It’s such an uplifting show you can’t help but leave in a good mood.”
William Bottone, 11, from Hornchurch, added: “It will make you feel the fun and freedom of being a child again and you just believe in the world that has been created.
“My character, Jojo, learns to believe in himself to get through his problems as anything is possible if you think it could happen.”
The enthusiasm of the cast and crew about this production is palpable and James assured that even those at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch who aren’t involved in the show are getting excited about it.
“It has a really big wow factor,” he said.
“You can’t help but fall in love with it as it’s such fun. It’s so vibrant and colourful and you can’t help but come out in a good mood.”
Seussical opens tomorrow (Saturday) at 7pm with performances on Sunday at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets start at £12.50 with £7.50 concessions. For booking and information call the box office on 01708 443333.