Simon Lipkin will be fighting to protect the world in London this Christmas when he takes on the title role in The Old Vic’s stage adaptation of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax.
The former Rock Of Ages star will play the role, which is portrayed with the help of two puppeteers, alongside Simon Paisley Day as the greedy Once-ler from 3 December to 16 January.
The Lorax will mark Lipkin’s latest London stage appearance following performances in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s 2014 musical Assassins and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at the Arts Theatre’s new studio space Above The Arts.
The actor will take on Dr Seuss’ cantankerous and endearing Lorax having portrayed an array of weird and wonderful creatures on stage, from I Can’t Sing!’s cynical dog Barlow to Alice In Wonderland’s Mad Hatter.
Paisley Day returns to the London stage following his recent performance in Urinetown The Musical, in which he played another power-hungry Once-ler-like businessman Caldwell B Cladwell. His other recent credits include the Royal Court’s The Low Road and The Taming Of The Shrew at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Lipkin’s Lorax will be helped in his mission to save the Earth by Laura Cubitt (RSC’s Oppenheimer) and Ben Thompson (Treasure Island, NT) in their roles as puppeteers
They will be joined in the production by Olivier Award nominee Juma Sharkah (Liberian Girl, Royal Court), former Matilda The Musical actress Melanie La Barrie, Richard Katz (Nell Gwynn, Shakespeare’s Globe), Penny Layden (Everyman, NT) and Thomas Arnold (Mourning Becomes Electra, NT).
David Greig’s adaptation of Dr Seuss’ classic tale charts the story of the eponymous moustachioed critter as he embarks on a quest to save the environment from the villainous tree-chopping Once-ler.
Directed by Max Webster, The Lorax is the third production in Matthew Warchus’ inaugural season as Artistic Director and will open at The Old Vic following the forthcoming run of The Hairy Ape, in which Olivier Award winner Bertie Carvel stars from 17 October.