The Southwark Playhouse has gained itself a reputation as one of the most exciting hubs of little-known and little-seen musicals in London. Unfortunately, Immersion Theatre’s production of Seussical does nothing to enhance that reputation.
Seussical has been most frequently seen performed by Amateur Dramatics companies and Schools, sadly this production does little to stray from that. This is not helped by the fact that if you’re sitting in the stalls directly facing the stage, the beat of the music from the band playing above physically shakes the seats on which the audience sit, making it impossible to fully concentrate on the piece, even if it was likely to hold your full attention.
It feels silly, lengthy, and as though it is trying to hold up a meaningful narrative about the nature of individuality, but it seems that in reality, Seussical does not know what it is or who it is for. It is too long and a little too complex for Children, but far too silly for adults. Not only that, the production drags even at a relatively short 75 minutes straight through, and each song is also too long, even before their inevitable reprises. It has elements of Pantomime but also presents itself in many ways as a serious piece of theatre, which is confusing.
The choreography is boring and not universally well executed, which is a shame as there is definitely potential for this to be the highlight of a show like this. Katie Paine and Scott Paige in particular are fantastic vocalists and very enjoyable to listen to, which is really the saving grace of the music and production on the whole. The set is as impressive as all sets seem to be at the Southwark Playhouse, and the costumes are equally exciting, but this is not enough to make this a quality production.
Production Images: Adam Trigg