Clever production of Lorax could use a stronger environmental message

The Lorax is not a subtle environmental fable, and although the current theatrical production on stage at the Royal Alexandra Theatre is a treat in many ways, the environmental message and some of the charm of the original story are lost in a bid to modernize the tale.

This production, adapted to the stage by David Greig with book and lyrics by Charlie Fink, just hopped the pond recently after a good run in London's West End at the Old Vic theatre where it premiered by in 2015.

One of the charms of the production is the use of puppetry for some of the wildlife — the swans that fly out over the first few rows of the theatre, the fish — and more importantly the Lorax. Although two or three people are used to bring the wise and wonderful Lorax to life, it is hardly noticeable — the mark of puppet excellence.