Saturday, December 06, 2008

FANTASTIC MR FOX

Brentwood Theatre Company

06.12.08



Roald Dahl's classic tale of farmers and foxes was always a favourite in our family, and it has lost none of its appeal over the years.

Director Vernon Keeble-Watson gave us a lively, colourful show on three levels, with lots of doors, and lots of digging. The audience, on two sides, were variously rabbits, badgers, moles and weasels. Us weasels being rather feeble at joining in the recurring Digging Song – the moles, inevitably, going at it with most gusto. MD John Trent Wallace's original music added another layer to David Wood's clever adaptation; I particularly liked the Deep in the Ground ballad, sensitively sung by Deborah Luery and Katie-Elizabeth Allgood.

The narrator was Kira Olivier's furry frump of a Badger, who had some great moments with the scene-stealing Doris [Katie-Anna Whiting] – the Gert and Daisy of Foxes' Wood. The farmers' trio was suitably obnoxious but not at all scary, and the Fox himself was earnestly and energetically played by Stephen Gunshon in his professional d├ębut.

There was some lovely detail – Bunce's knee patches, Baby Fox's Teach Yourself Acting – and some awesome effects – the tractor apocalypse and the food stores.

A lovely Christmas show which managed to be original as well as traditional. We even had a Cider sing-along, though we hardly needed the words ...

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