It’s not only a Herculean task to take on one of the most iconic children’s characters of all time.

But to perform such a physical role in a hot furry suit and then embark on a mammoth tour around the country, takes some beating.

For Nana Amoo-Gottfried however, who plays Dr Seuss’s cat, it’s the part of a lifetime.

“Everyone said it couldn’t be done,” he smiles, “which may be why everyone is coming to watch it.”

It did mean learning some new skills – particularly circus tricks:

“We have an opera singer, two acrobats and a dancer in the cast. But I’m just a straight actor, so that’s been quite a challenge, as well as learning the big dance numbers.

“Regardless, it’s good for me to try things that are out of my comfort zone. So I’ve learned to juggle, to walk on a ball and understand pyrotechnics, and have discovered that everything is doable. I’ve surprised myself, but then this is what I do.”

Dr Seuss’ original text has also been lovingly recreated, the costume and set designers really going to town on the show’s authentic look. “The show stays very true to the original text,” Nana confirms.

Throw in some new song and dance numbers and lots of audience participation, or “organised chaos,” as he calls it, and it’s easy to understand why the tour is such a big hit.

“When The Things come out, the audience starts chasing them around the auditorium, orchestrated by The Fish, and that is chaotic – we just let it go.

“Being nonsensical rather suits me and not so different to who I am off stage either. So when I got the part I was delighted. It’s something I’m really proud of, even if I do get a bit hot.

But then I was always very fond of the Cat In The Hat as a child, so I wanted to do it justice and recapture that magic.

As for playing to a young audience, Nana says: “I just love the honesty. Last week we’d just finished a massive song and dance number and a little girl at the front shouted out ‘cats are boring’ which cracked us all up, but the vast majority love it.

“To be honest I’m so caught up in what I’m doing I don’t have time to stop and gauge things or I’ll lose my thread and momentum.”

It must be exhausting though? “I think I must have lost about two stone since the tour began and we are only half way through.

“But I can’t wait to spend a whole week in Oxford.”

The Cat In The Hat,

Tuesday 19 - Saturday 23

Oxford Playhouse

01865 305305