You’re a mean one, Mr Grinch!
Last night The Bloke and I were invited to the press review of How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.
The musical adaptation of the popular Dr Seuss book, How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical tells the story of the miserable Grinch who lives on the top of Mount Crumpit with his downtrodden dog, Max. With a heart ‘two sizes too small,’ he sets out to ruin Christmas for the town of Whoville, home of the cheery and warm-hearted Whos. Narrated primarily in verse by Steve Fortune’s ‘Old Max’ throughout, Birmingham audiences were also treated to a one-off special guest appearance from George Hancorn who opened the performance.
Described by the New York Times as ‘100 times better than any bedtime story,’ the show broke box office records for two consecutive years on Broadway and it’s easy to see why – How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical was completely and utterly fabulous from start to finish.
Edward Baker-Duly in the role of The Grinch was absolutely sensational. A seasoned performer across stage and screen, he was captivating and hilarious in his Jim Carrey-esque exaggerated characterisation and physicality, with a fabulous voice, brilliant comic timing and nuances and an incredible presence.
Baker-Duly leads a stellar cast of multi-talented performers. The recognisable and highly accomplished Steve Fortune was brilliant (with a wonderful voice) in the role of sweet and nostalgic Old Max, while 2016 X-Factor winner Matt Terry did a great job as Young Max. The residents of Whoville – led by Holly Dale Spencer as Mama Who, Alan Pearson as Papa Who, David Bardsley as Grandpa Who and Karen Ascoe as Grandma Who – all beautifully executed their equally exaggerated performances and dance numbers, with the leads producing consistently on-point a capella vocals throughout the show.
The runaway star of the night, however, was little Isla Gie in the role of adorable Cindy Lou Who. Without missing a beat, her level of exceptional performance skill and maturity far exceeded her years and she absolutely owned the stage throughout, deservedly receiving the biggest reception of the night from the audience.
Directed by Matt August and with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and Music by Mel Marvin, the show features the well known songs ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch’ and ’Welcome Christmas.’ With beautiful sets by John Lee Beatty and costumes by Robert Morgan that were stylised to fit the Dr Seuss aesthetic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical was a feast for both the eyes and ears and an absolute delight to watch.
Colourful, fun, slick, heart-warming and with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments for both the kids and adults, this is a show that you really won’t want to miss this Christmas…
How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical will be on stage at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham until Saturday 7th December. You can purchase your tickets here!
Disclaimer: The Bloke and I were given complimentary tickets to see the show, but were under no obligation to provide a positive review.