Thursday, 24 March 2011

English Touring Opera at the Northcott Theatre "The Fantastic Mr Fox"

Nicholas Merryweather and Miriam Sharrad
as Mr and Mrs Fox
with the children of Newton Poppleford and St Nicholas Schools
On Tuesday evening at Exeter Northcott Theatre a packed house enjoyed Tobias Picker's modern opera production of Roald Dahl's 'Fantastic Mr Fox'.  Despite the very serious opera style the children were highly amused and absolutely delighted by the way their favourite story-book characters were portrayed.  Equally enchanted were the parents and grand-parents who took them along - and many adult opera-lovers who went along simply to enjoy the show.
Children had an active part in the production as well, appearing as fox cubs and very convincing singing trees.  The children all had their parts to sing, ably assisted by ETO cast members.  Henry Grant Kerswell, Mark Wilde and Maciek O'Shea were hilarious as 'Boggis, Bunce and Bean' the evil farmers.  Quite apart from the wonderful Fox family Greg Tassel was amazing as Badger and Stuart Haycock as the mining Mole was his very able side-kick.  The love interest from Catrine Kirkman and Adam Tunnicliffe as Hedgehog and Porcupine was touching and delightful.  Cary Hughes' Rita Rat was charming and delightful - perhaps a little too charming for a rat, but no one was complaining!  The most extraordinary and dazzling character by far, however, was 'Agnes the Digger' played by Fiona Kimm.  This anthropomorphic JCB, played by the diminutive Fiona was absolutely convincing, a little terrifying, and children absolutely loved her.
The Northcott was the place to see smiling children on Tuesday night - every one grinning from ear to ear!

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