I was delighted to be asked to describe this fabulous musical. Anything to do with Dr Seuss brings back lovely memories for me of reading the much-loved books to my son when he was small. (He is now nearly twenty-four and away at sea!)
I very much liked how faithful the production was to the original, in terms of the simplicity of the story, and thought there was just the right level of pantomime-style add-ons.
Describing musicals is always a challenge as (not wishing to talk over any of the wonderful singing) one is constantly searching for tiny gaps in which to describe what is going on and how things look – and, by necessity, striving to paint as vivid a picture as possible in just a very few words. I hope I have gone some way towards doing this. I would have liked to find more opportunities to describe the brilliant physicality of the dancing – particularly from the stellar cast of children – but as they were, of course, mainly singing at the same time, that was rarely possible.
It has been a real joy to watch such a marvellously strong ensemble cast at work – with such great characterisation and interplay between characters. Having Old Max as the narrator worked brilliantly and the relationship between Young Max and the Grinch was a delight. Matthew Morrison trod the finest of lines in his portrayal of the Grinch between being genuinely sinister and hilariously endearing.
And what a thrill that my Audio description is going to be heard on both sides of the Atlantic! I hope I have struck a fair balance as far as idiom is concerned – for example, in the Whoville department store, people ride in an elevator rather than in a lift.
Anyway, I hope the descriptions enhance people’s enjoyment of this stunning production.
‘Dr Seuss' The Grinch Musical!’ premiers in the UK on Sky 1 on the 20th of December at 3:30pm.
Audio Description by Neville Watchurst