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Posts Tagged ‘theatre’

The number one author in the world – Roald Dahl’s books keep children and their adults mesmerised. All four of us are Roald Dahl fans in our household. Since September 2016 marked 100 years since his birth, we enjoyed dream jars hunting across London. The news that more productions are coming to life made us leap with excitement. This is how we felt when we were invited to the opening night of Roald Dahl’s “Fantastic Mr Fox” at Orchard Theatre. My children were counting days, my husband made sure he comes home early on the day to enjoy these timeless classic!
We arrived at Orchard Theatre, 20 minutes prior to show. The place was buzzing with children wearing Mr Fox outfits, purchasable at the theatre shop. We enjoyed our complimentary drinks and our kids went through the Orchard Theatre’s program. The latter was crammed with activities for kids and pages and pages of information on “Fantastic Mr Fox” production. Going through the booklet my seven year old was amazed at the achievements of production team. National Theatre playwright, Best Costume award holder designer, Nathional Theatre composer and the cast from well acknowledged theatres were promising the jackpot of the shows!

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This new musical adaptation of FANTASTIC MR FOX is a flagship production for the Roald Dahl 100 celebrations marking the centenary year of the world’s number one storyteller and hotly follows the release of Steven Spielberg’s movie version of THE BFG. This new commission by Nuffield and Curve in association with Lyric Hammersmith brings together a stellar creative team: playwright Sam Holcroft, director Maria Aberg, designer Tom Scutt, composer Arthur Darvill, lyricists Darren Clark, Arthur Darvill, Sam Holcroft and Al Muriel, sound designer Claire Windsor, lighting designer Lee Curran, casting director Annelie Powell and movement director Ayse Tashkiran. FANTASTIC MR FOX is produced by Nuffield and Curve in association with Lyric Hammersmith.
The lights went down, the spectators stopped breathing in suspense and waiting for the show to begin. It began with beautiful birds singing live in beautiful voices, thus enthralling us slowly to the bright world of Roald Dahl in his true spirit. From those four beginning notes and beautiful accords we knew this show was more to what we’d expected! This idyllic scene was disrupted by three farmers coming from amongst of the audience, as a wakeup call life gives one sometimes. They were the true personages Roald Dahl described! Then we were introduced to the Badger, the Rabbit, the Mole and the Mouse who were waiting for Fantastic Mr Fox to bring them food. On the upper level Mrs Fox and her kit were working on hunting techniques. Kit being a typical child was very impatient, but Mrs Fox didn’t let failure to break her kit and teaching the perseverance. Finally Fantastic Mr Fox emerges from the auditorium too with cheers from excited children. He was bearing lots of food for his friends that he willingly shared and went back to his family for their dinner. The cast was meticulously selected and they were giving it all their selves. The singing, the dances, the transformations ,the energy that was there throughout the show was charging the each and every one of spectators. If you have ever visited the West End Musical, this is what it feels like! The show is recommended for the ages of five and above. We had our seven year old and a two year old with us! The seven year old was enchanted and the surprisingly the two year old was taken too. It may be a little long for younger viewers being two hours (our two year old was getting tired after a long day), so if you have young children with you we would recommend to visit the show during the daytime. But our toddler loved it nonetheless and thinks that the story is to be continued and looks forward to go back and see Mr and Mrs Fox. If you have not introduced the musical to your children yet, this is the best show to start! As the cast were really good with live singing, live music band and beautiful choreography. We liked the humour only the modern adults would get too, like self employed rats, no charging docks the iPads’ and more.

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The theme of perseverance came a lot through the show and was a very good teaching point for children to retain – to never give up and to achieve their highest dreams! Especially nowadays our children are under a lot of pressure be it SATs, 11plus exam, A levels and more. This show is not only a brilliant entertainment but an indispensable teaching tool towards building a stronger “Can do” attitude. The sharing is another important issue that was brought up that we tend to forget these days and it is becoming more and more acceptable to be selfish. Fantastic Mr Fox was not perfect, he had his shortcomings too. They made sure to let the children know that even if Mr Fox was a superhero in animal world, he still needed his friends and family when times were tough. The value of true friendship, family ties and team work was brought to the attention of auditors in such a great way; the children were discussing their day to day doings after the show. This alone demonstrates “Fantastic Mr Fox” show is a must see production for shaping young minds, building a strong, confident and open individuals. As Fantastic Mr Fox tries to keep being fantastic himself after na injury and can’t succeed on his own. His friends and family come to support him, each and every one of them being very good at something the teamwork makes impossible possible. This makes Mr Fox humble and he admits that they are better off as a team. This production is a pinnacle of musical shows for children! If you have not taken your children to any musicals yet, this is a great opportunity to impress young minds. They will remember this for years and years to come, keeping it as a happy childhood memory – a very bright star in the sky of young minds. My seven and two year old children loved the show, the music, the singing, the acting and all the effects made it to an extraordinary experience one lives through the whole show, laughing, gasping and looking for solutions together with the cast. The clapping sounds of ovation filled the auditorium and the happy spectators were thankful to have come and seen such a great show for children and their adults! This perfection of a show gets 10 out of 10 from us!

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On Thursday we had a pleasure of going to see the play by Story Pocket Theatre. They have put on scene Michael Morpurgo’s “Arthur, High King of Britain”.

We could not wait to arrive and watch it, as Morpurgo is one of favourite writers of my elder child. Arriving at Greenwich Theatre was a bliss, as it is so close and there are plenty of parking spaces around it. We were brave enough to take our two year old as well, even if the play was more for ages seven and above. The two year old was mesmerised and followed the whole play with few questions in between the scenes.

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This epic tale of chivalry, magic and heroism was brought to life by a professional troupe of Story Pocket Theatre. I have watched thousands of plays and I admit that we have been so used to special effects, sounds and extras, at times we forget what is the true theatrical experience should deliver.

The actors made sure we succumbed to a true theatrical adventure this time! The whole play was set by a team in such a fluid manner, you would not notice it going from one act to another. As there is such a continuality, you keep peeled to the scene worrying you would miss a delicious bit of it! The whole play is set the old fashioned theatre troupe way, which made the experience even more pleasing for me, taking me back to my childhood where we used to go to theatres to watch our favourite stories coming alive! From modern days, the story flows to the times of making of King Arthur, showing us the hardships he had to overcome, how he fell in love and how he was lured by his half sister. Personally  I was worried about the last bit, but the half sister’s act was shown in a beautiful dance, understandable enough not to disturb young minds. It showed how one has to stay true to himself to make wise decisions, in example of Merlin leaving King Arthur. Hence not only relying on a wit of smart people surrounding you but taking your own steps. The knights of the round table of Camelot, the sword fights shown in an expert manner would appeal to any young heart who find the medieval fights fascinating. There are incredible  bits of medieval dance during the wedding and happy times of King Arthur too. The whole production is about 1h30 minutes without intervals and is such a true theatrical experience to live through for young book lovers! The play is still on the stages of other theatres. And we recommend you to go and see it!

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Here is the list of places it will be on:

  1. February 22nd 2017, 2pm Theatre Brycheiniog Brecon, Powys, 01874611622 brycgeiniog.co.uk
  2. February 23rd 2017, 1pm & 4pm Blackwood Miners Institute, Caerphilly 01495227206 Caerphilly.co.uk
  3. February 25th 2017, 2.30pm Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, 01684295074 rosetheatre.org
  4. February 26th 2017, 1.30pm & 5pm The Neeld Chippenham, 01249446699 neeld.co.uk
  5. March 2nd 2017, 11am The Broadway Theatre, Barking, 02085075607 thebroadwaybarking.com
  6. March 13th 2017, Richard Whiteley Theatre, Settle, North Yorkshire, 01729893180 giggleswick.org.uk

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