There’s something delightfully festive about going to the theatre in the lead up to Christmas. It’s freezing cold outside, but warm and magical inside the theatre.
We were therefore delighted to be offered tickets to see Dr Dolittle at the Lowry. Within the plush surroundings of the Lyric Theatre, Dr Dolittle promised to be something special, and it didn’t disappoint.
Based on the children’s books by Hugh Lofting, Doctor Dolittle tells the story of a man who learns to communicate with animals, with the help from his parrot sidekick Polynesia.
Mark Williams was brilliant as the animal loving, eccentric Doctor. Despite Dolittle’s often irritable demeanour, he gave the character a warmth that was completely endearing. I found the doctor’s love for animals and bemusement of humans to be completely relatable!
Meanwhile Vicky Entwistle lent her voice to Dr Dolittle’s parrot Polynesia. Vicky’s northern twang is instantly recognisable and gave the parrot a distinct personality. She also displayed her puppetry skills throughout the performance, making Polynesia’s movements seem so realistic.
Adele Anderson was the villain of the piece, playing not just one, but two fiendish characters. Her frosty demeanour meant she was the perfect pantomime villain.
Ex-Corrie baddie Brian Capron also had two roles, circus master Albert Blossom and the rather debonair Straight Arrow. The two characters were completely contrasting and he was equally convincing as both.
The boy who played young Tommy Stubbins was equally fantastic and clearly has a big future ahead of him.
Mollie Melia-Redgrave as Emma Fairfax and Patrick Sullivan as Matthew Mugg provided a touch of romance to the show. Matthew Mugg’s Irish charm was delightful, whilst Mollie’s singing voice was incredible. I also enjoyed her character, a strong woman unafraid to voice her opinion and willing to accept and embrace change.
The show was visually stunning, from the impressive set to the fantastic puppets. It’s hard to describe just how amazingly lifelike the puppets and their movements were. The attention to detail in both their design and their mannerisms were astonishing.
We were treated to songs, some more memorable than others, and both funny and poignant moments. It was also quite thought provoking when it was highlighted the way that animals can be, and often are, treated.
I couldn’t recommend the show enough. It appealed to all three of my children, as well as my husband and I. As Albert Blossom would say himself, you’ve never seen anything like it!
The show is running up until 5th January and you book your tickets here.
We were offered complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. As always all views are my own.