You know when a show catches your eye and you know it is something you will love? I have been hoping to see Doctor Dolittle The Musical ever since the trailer caught my eye some months ago.
I can’t actually remember if I have ever seen Doctor Dolittle the film?
But have most certainly read parts of the book and somehow know a lot of the music, so must have encountered this wonderful whimsical tale at some stage in my life.
As soon the the curtain rises you are drawn into a magical bygone era that gives you the warmest feeling. The music, costumes and language all feel as if you are being pulled into a world that has taken all the best bits from Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady and Oliver. Which is like the most colourful, warm hug ever. But does not feel dated in any way, shape or form.
The tale takes you on the journey of how Dr Dolittle (The incredible Mark Williams) leaves behind a career as a doctor to become an animal doctor, to care for those he most loves and understands in the world.
A decision he makes after a lengthy conversation with his pet parrot Polynesia (Vicky Entwistle) and the discovery that he can talk to animals.
Of course such an incredible talent brings both fascination and distrust amongst the human world. And he is invited to Sea Star Island by his pen friend of many years Straight Arrow (Brian Capron).
Once he raises the required funds with a dalliance with the circus, he sets sail with his nearest and dearest in the human and animal world. But is displeased to see that his close friend Mathew Mugg (Patrick Sullivan) has brought along a stowaway in the form of Miss Emma Fairfax, (Mollie Melia-Redgrave) the niece of his arch enemy Lady Bellowes.
Doctor Dolittle is a tale of discovering talent, finding love and learning to accept people and animals different from ourselves
Acceptance in order to build life long friendships, relationships and even find love. Despite his clear intelligence and gift with animals, Dr Dolittle has a lot to learn about human friendship and his beautifully colourful journey takes us along to witness how he and those around him grow and change.
The set is simple but truly stunning and has a magical fairytale feel as the characters step in and out of the story book which takes several guises at the centre of the set. You can’t take your eyes off the stage and all its splendour and colour. The animals are inspired, its incredible how you begin to forget the humans attached to them as they start to take on their very own personalities.
But also the simple things really stood out such as when Mathew and Tommy were riding their bike, or the waves in the sea were so well thought out and creative.
Almost every detail of Doctor Dolittle was magnificent
It totally holds its own as a theatrical show and not just something that would appeal to families. The cast, set, costumes, score, voices and creativity gelled together to create a magical journey that sweeps you along with it.
The only thing I didn’t totally love about the show was Poison Arrow, I just did not gel with the character. Of course being a baddie this was the intention, but she felt a little too panto for my liking. However I put this down to my being in the panto hating minority, so feel she would most probably delight others.
I was totally absorbed in this beautiful colourful world, but it somehow had me feeling like I was curled up on the sofa by the fire, watching an old and much loved movie. Like I had been transported back to my childhood, not sat in the Lowry Theatre with several thousand other people.
Doctor Dolittle is on at the Lowry Theatre until the 5th January and I can’t think of a more wonderful way to spend an evening or afternoon over the festive period it truly is a work of art in every way.
The Doctor Dolittle national tour is also running around the UK throughout 2019.