Directed by Bob Tomson
Review by Peter Barnett
As soon as the curtain rises the audience are transported to a world similar to Disney. An impressive ensemble lead by Conor Michael-Sheridan as Matthew the Doctor's assistant set the scene of Puddleby-By-The Sea.
A name like Tommy Steele will give the show boosts in sales but anyone wishing to see a show stopping performance from the star of the show will be sorely disappointed. What you pay for is to see,Tommy Steele playing Tommy Steele on stage. He is all smiles and happily enjoys his time on stage, speaking through most of the songs Rex Harrison Style but does not deliver the character of John Dolittle as one would expect. "Dr Do-nothing" as he is called by one character in the show perfectly describes what you get for your moneys worth.
Apart from Steele the rest of the cast are fantastic. We see a vast selection of memorable characters throughout this simple, enjoyable story. From Alfred Blossom and Gertie the Circus owners to the pompous General Bellowes, each character feels as though they are character from a book jumping straight out at you. A special mention must go to Abigail Jaye who plays the part of Emma Fairfax to perfection. Reminiscent to Mary Poppins and Truly Scrumptious, Abigail has a marvellous Soprano voice captivating the audience with whatever style of song she sings.
You get to see an amazing variety of animal puppets throughout the whole show. From a Pushmi-Pullyu ( a two headed Llama) to Elephants and Lions, no-one will be disappointed with what they encounter.
The story of Doctor Dolittle is easy for anyone of any age to understand. It is all about the Doctor raising money and going on his voyage to look for the Great Pink Sea Snail. As silly as it may sound, it is a very good plot. From the circus to the courtroom added with a variety of animals the audience is taken halfway around the world and back again all within one show. Dr Dolittle is a show for all ages but more tailored for a younger audience who will have the time of their lives seeing this mesmerising performance of puppetry and special effects.
Dr Dolittle is touring until april 2008 for more information visit http://www.thisistheatre.com/regional/doctor-dolittle.html