The Lorax (@The Old Vic), directed by David Greig with music and lyrics by Charlie Fink, is a stage adaptation of the children’s book of the same title written by Dr Seuss (1971), as well as the big-hit British animation movie ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax’ (2012).
This funny and dazzling musical was premiered in 2015 calling for lots of great reviews, as well as an Olivier nomination.
One day, the Once-ler who wants to be ‘a great man’ arrives at a beautiful forest of Truffula trees and meets the forest’s god, Lorax.
Lorax shows the Once-ler greatness and a power of nature, which helps the Once-ler to invent a knitted product using the tree’s foliage.
Because the stage of the Old Vic is not so big, I was really interested in how they presented the Lorax’s forest, comical animals, the knitting manufacture and so on.
On the stage, various theatrical aspects work together to weave the world of the play.
The musical scenes showcasing catchy lyrics and unique choreography splendidly concerts with spectacular stage machineries.
As a result, the collaboration enables more ingenious and three-dimensional expression of the wide range of settings of location.
Furthermore, it is decorated with quite colourful costumes worn by the performers.
The ensemble casts dedicate themselves to its quite frequent scene changes by switching many of their roles.
Lorax himself is represented by a puppet with three performers, which perfects his comical and cartoon-like movements as well as brightness.
With these awesome theatrical expressions, the stage shows the audience the Ice-ler’s success of the knitting manufacture business.
However, his pleasure of the success ends up letting him forget that he made Lorax a promise that he would never chop down the trees outside his area in the forest.
Loss of nature calls for not only loss of Lorax, but also a slump in the manufacture and business.
When the show draws to the end, the hero who lost his glory, the plant, family, and friends, just stands before the wasteland.
He cannot forget that Lorax sang that the trees and nature, which had been living there for thousands of years, have gone never to return in a hopeless manner when he left the forest.
This message pricked my heart as well, by letting me know how horrifying the fact that civilization has destroyed nature is.
Tens years later, one boy visits the Ice-ler’s poor house and encourages him to try to grow a tree once more with him.
It means their friendship starts to face finding the true meaning of Lorax’s last word, ‘Unless’.
What did Lorax want to tell the Ice-ler and us about nature? When you discover the answer to this question at the end of the story, you will finally know the true message of this story.
This show gives us new hope to live together with nature forever.