FANTASTIC MR FOX - Shake & Stir's New Picturesque Dahlian World
No one outfoxes a fox. shake & stir give a new life to Roald Dahl's classic children's book in this new production. For those that aren't familiar with the book, the story revolves around Mr Fox and how he outwits his farmer neighbours to steal their food from right under their noses.
Just like their adaptation of A Christmas Carol, every element of the show compliments each other. From the direction to the choreography, everything is seamlessly in sync. It's what I love about shake & stir; I always know that it will be a good show and that I will leave the theatre with a big smile on my face. And they certainly didn't let me down with Fantastic Mr Fox.
The audience is immersed in Dahl's story like never before, thanks to Craig Wilkinson's video design and Jon Weber's illustrations. It felt like we were all reading a picture book, watching the farmers dig up the Fox's burrows to watching Mr Badger, Mr Fox and Chase play hide and seek with Mabel in the cellar, a picture book that managed to dance across the entire auditorium, making us often feel like we were beside the characters. And Guy Webster's score was phenomenal. If only it was on Spotify. And Josh McIntosh's topped in all off with his innovative set design (which I often worried that actors would fall off of as they ran from corner to corner), although its use of the revolve often made me wonder whether or not I was watching a Queensland Theatre Show...
Ross Balbuziente's not only truly created a real cartoon world but helped shape and create cartoon characters of the actors. Leon Cain (Boggis), Tim Dashwood (Bean) and Nelle Lee (Bunce) certainly were certainly horrible crooks so different in looks who were nonetheless equally mean. The trio had the audience eating into the palms of their hand and had such impeccable stage presence, whose use of slapstick had the younger children sitting in the row in front of me (and their grandparents) cackling with laughter. Nick Skubij was everything that I imagined Mr Fox would be; clever, witty and often too confident for his own good.
The production was a delight and put a grin on a lot of children's faces, which is ultimately what I believe a good piece of theatre should do.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
*this performance reviewed was a preview performance