Review: Dr Doolittle, The Hawth's amphitheatre

Dr Doolittle at the Hawth
Dr Doolittle at the Hawth

The Hawth’s amphitheatre provided the perfect setting for Illryria’s latest production.

The theatre company’s latest show is Dr Doolittle and again they put on a colourful, musical and impressive production.

The cast of six, led by Edward Simpson as the titular doctor, entertained the crowds with wonderful songs, great comic timing and hugely impressive puppetry.

The story tells of how Doctor John Dolittle learns how to talk to animals and news of his skills spreads far and wide. Soon animals across the world send messages asking for his help. So, he buys an old ship and, together with his trusty pet-crew go on a mission to heal illness, spread compassion and gain a greater understanding of the animal kingdom.

It’s an exciting adventure with a strong message about responsibility towards animals and the environment.

The puppets are what always impress me about Illyria, and this year was no exception. There was everything from cats and dogs to horses and sharks. In fact the shark was very inventive and a highlight.

The songs were performed with gusto, especially from Paula Brett, and at times extremely humorous, with the pig (Callum Stewart) singing about cake a particular favourite.

The balmy evening made it a perfect night for watching theatre outdoors and it’s great Illyria and returning to the Hawth’s amphitheatre with The Merchant of Venice (Friday August 10) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (Friday August 31).

Visit the Hawth’s website for more details.
For more information on Illyria, please visit
Review: The Lost World, The Hawth's Ampitheatre
ENTERTAINMENT LISTINGS: Friday to Thursday, July 6-12