I took my 7yrs old on a “date night” to see The Fantastic Mr Fox at The Lyric Hammersmith this weekend just past (we were lucky to get some press tickets). And we **loved the show**(as always at The Lyric!!) a great combination of theatre and music and this classic tale wonderfully retold.
Roald Dahl fans, must book your tickets before they sell out!!
If you are unfamiliar with Roald Dahl’s tale of the Fantastic Mr Fox, it is the story of Mr Fox, his family and friends and 3 local farmers. The animals steal (ahem take) what they need to survive on.. but the farmers are greedy and unwilling to share. The farmers set out to catch Mr Fox and his family. They begin my camping outside his fox hole and plan to shoot him, when he appears. When he does… they shoot his tail off, but otherwise Mr. Fox remains unharmed. But how will the tailless fox and his friends manage trapped underground? What will happen next.
I always love seeing how a musical or play interprets the classics and puts them on stage. The blue burrow is cleverly designed, the animals are all dressed in 80s sports wear and a live band of sporty birds is incorporated into the show. The original story has been slightly altered to focus on team work and how people skills and abilities change over time, but doesn’t make anyone less able or useful (nice life lessons there) – from the housebound pregnant Mrs Fox, to the tailless Mr Fox.
My daughter’s favourite character was the silly but lovable “Jane Fonder Bunny”, over excitable but keen to help. I adored Mr Bean’s (Richard Atwill) performance as both the lead farmer, but also a stupendous drunk rat. There was enough for both the kids and the grown ups. Silliness, adventure and fun for the kids, with undertones of grown up themes for, well the grown ups.
This show is competing with the West End’s Mathilda and Charlie and The Chocolate factory. Both outstanding performances. But, as readers of this site know, I am a great fan of The Lyric Hammersmith. I have said it before and I will say it again, to me it is the perfect “half way” house to the West End in London, which though it has AMAZING shows, can be prohibitively expensive. The Lyric however also has AMAZING shows, but at far more affordable price. Making theatre going much more affordable and allowing families to watch productions by classic authors such as Roald Dahl.
My daughter thoroughly enjoyed the performance and when asked whether she would recommend it to to her peers, it was a clear YES from her. We giggled, we laughed, we ooh-ed and we aah-ed.. just as theatre should be!
Disclaimer: we were invited along to the Press night