Reviewed by Nikki Cotter
Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
If there’s one thing we all need right now it’s a hefty dose of Christmas cheer, thankfully there are whovilations a plenty at The Lowry with their festive family show, How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.
Based on the much loved book by Dr Seuss, we’re transported to the whimsical world of Whoville. A joyful place where its inhabitants the Whos are continually bursting with holiday cheer much to the despair of the grumpy Grinch. With a heart two sizes too small the mere thought of festive merriment fills him with immeasurable dread. A confirmed Christmas hater until a chance meeting with mini Who Cindy Lou whom innocently proves to him that being a Who isn’t so bad after all.
The story is told by Max the dog, an on form Griff Rhys Jones, who narrates whilst watching his younger self portrayed by an enthusiastic Matt Terry.
Taking on the role of the ghastly greenie is an outstanding Edward Baker-Duly he embodies the Grinch completely from his petulant pouting to his clever quips he is absolute perfection. Delighting the audience with his entrance and keeping them roaring with laughter throughout, he is an absolute whoot, (sorry) with his perfect delivery ticking every box.
The Whos are a loud excitable bunch with some scenes in Act 1 feeling quite hectic, you almost feel yourself sympathising with the Grinch as their sickly sweet songs repeatedly ring out. Act 2 when the genuine heart of the story is given space to breathe is where this production really shines. The scenes between The Grinch and Cindy Lou are an absolute joy and will warm even the coldest of hearts.
Isla Gie who played Cindy Lou at tonight’s performance is a delight, with impressive acting skills and the sweetest of voices she captivates entirely, she may be the smallest person on stage but her impact is huge.
Both fans of the book and film will find much to love about this production which remains true to the Dr Seuss original. John Lee Beatty’s cartoon-like set paired with Robert Morgan’s stunning costumes bring Dr Seuss’s world to magical life and are visually impressive with every last detail in-keeping with the Whoville fans know and love.
This sparkling production offers sack loads of Christmas cheer and will lift the spirits of those looking for a Christmas spectacle with its wit and warmth. The songs aside from You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch are quite forgettable but this brightly packaged production hits the spot for those looking for escapist festive fun.
At two hours including an interval it is the perfect length for little ones and a great introduction to theatre for first timers. It’s festive, feel-good family fun which will make the biggest of Grinch’s smile.
The Grinch is on at The Lowry until Sunday 5th January tickets available here.