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Mr Fox triumphs with a little help from his friends

Fantastic Mr Fox, Belgrade Theatre, until April 22

This musical stage version of Roald Dahl’s well loved children’s story is splendidly performed by a talented group of actors, dancers, musicians and singers and is suitable for the whole family.

Mr Dahl always creates exceedingly dastardly baddies and the three farmers – Boggis, Bunce and Bean are suitably greedy, hateful and generally obnoxious in their efforts to thwart the extremely clever, cunning and resourceful Mr Fox.

The egotistical Mr Fox is ably assisted by a rather pedantic but very clever badger, a scatty rabbit, a mole with in-depth geological knowledge and a mouse with highly developed listening skills. He is also very fortunate in having a wise and thoughtful vixen in Mrs Fox and a brave and enthusiastic cub called Kit.

In their efforts to feed themselves and overcome the aggressive farmers the animals suffer various setbacks and aren’t helped by a rat whose actions are all about his own self interest.

The main theme is about friendship and how you are more likely to succeed if you work and share together. Mr Fox also learns a little more about humility and that all the other animals have something to offer too

The production is faithful to Roald Dahl’s original script and the set is imaginatively three-dimensionally designed. It is a highly energetic performance enriched by catchy tunes and neat choreography. Some of the action scenes appeared a little chaotic, however, and it was sometimes difficult to hear the lyrics above the music.

The appreciative audience seemed to comprise children of all ages accompanied by smiling parents and grandparents and the production offers a splendid evening’s entertainment for the Easter holidays (but please encourage the children to try to unwrap their sweets or Easter eggs a little more quietly!)

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