Moving back onto the scenes the final one I liked was the courtroom scene when Dr. Dolittle was accused of throwing an old woman into the sea when actually it was Sophie the Seal! The reason I liked this scene in particular was because it had a great use of levels and the seating was set out so that the audience could see all of the actors and actresses faces it was a great use of the stage and it was the only part in the whole production that held any form of tension, it wasn’t a really thrilling scene but it did have you fixated! The script on the other hand for this scene was rather mediocre. Dr. Dolittle had stolen the circus seal and freed her so I don’t understand why the people of the circus were so keen to defend him in court, it was rather strange!
I would now like to draw attentions to the costumes of characters, starting with Doctor Dolittle himself. He wore a velour claret jacket with tails along with a red cravat. His shoes were black, gleaming and clean they were shadowed beneath his light blue trousers; the trousers defiantly didn’t match well with his jacket these colors further highlighted his eccentricity. He also had a top hat and cane which represented his wealth and affluence as a doctor this was teamed with a shiny pocket watch placed in his jacket. His skin coloring was quite orange and his stage makeup was bright too, this possibly is again a reflection of the eccentric character yet teemed with Tommy Steele’s bright white teeth the contrast is evident.
Miss Fairfax wore four dresses during the performance but I would like to concentrate on the outfit she was wearing during scene threes “talk to the animals”. Her dress was light blue; it was very long as it was in the Victorian era seen as vulgar for a woman to have her ankles on display in public. The puffed sleeves of the dress along with the general meringue shape were a reflection of the Victorian fashion. She wore black heeled shoes and a hat with a feather; showing too, her rich lifestyle. She had quite simple stage makeup on and appeared to have a clear and clean complexion.
The final character whose costume I thought was interesting was that of Chief Straight Arrow. It was simple yet very effective. He wore nothing on his top half apart from bangles and tribal necklaces, he also wore no shoes but was covered with a white loin cloth; this reflected upon his lifestyle and culture. He was an African man which fits in well with what you expect from a foreign tribe.
The music in the performance was all very happy and jumpy it was also rather cheesy and childish. I feel personally that there were too many songs in the performance and the backing tracks all sounded the same. The lighting used in the production wasn’t very extravagant though it was usually very bright. There was only one scene where lighting was used a lot this was during the circus; arrays of colours were used creating a crazy and flamboyant display of light! The stage was of a proscenium arch style and it was an end on theatre. Our drama group was seated in tiered seating. We were placed in the orchestra stalls and it was very spacious and comfortable we were relatively close to the stage and most of us were in the centre this gave us a great view which was a real advantage.
In conclusion to my theatre experience of “Doctor Dolittle” I am quite split in thought of what my opinion is. There were as mentioned a lot of things that I found unsatisfactory and unprofessional whereas the scenery and special effects along with the amazing animals saved the day completely. The lighting in the circus scene was marvelous and the costumes for each character were to be commended greatly. I didn’t feel though that I was emotionally involved with the production, though unlike “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest” it wasn’t a tragedy I didn’t feel any connection with the characters like I did in the Shane Richie production.
It was a fun play to watch though and I would recommend it for a younger audience. I feel that there were points where the characters should have made me feel upset for them or annoyed at the happenings of the story for instance when there was the shipwreck I didn’t see any believable upset or anger from the characters this disappointed me a little as it would have been a good point to introduce high tension. I feel that I do have respect for Doctor Dolittle’s work when following the storyline; I think it would be a lovely idea for humans to be able to interact with animals and I believe the passion the doctor has for animals is charming.