Following the success of last year’s ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, the Fourth Form put on an exceptional performance of ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ which contained moments of humour and suspense, paired with the ridiculous, as well as spectacular dances throughout the story. The theme of ‘playfulness’ was at the centre of the production, shown with moments of comedy chases and the humorous demise of the three nasty farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean.
The renowned Roald Dahl classic was split into three parts with each class handling a different section of the play, having been adapted from the original novel by Sally Reid. Whilst the story is well-known, the play was technically challenging both in linguistic and performing terms, especially staged 'in the round', requiring the Fourth Form to captivate the attention of the audience from all sides. The children did this with confidence, demonstrating great skill, as well as effort from each cast member. The nature of the play demanded that the children were constantly 'switched on' and thinking ahead to their particular moments. One of the 'farmer' actors explained, "The first lot of farmers were extremely menacing and you could really appreciate all the hard work they had done to build up the personality of their character. I had the penultimate line. There was blackout. I was so proud I thought my chest would burst!"
The use of movement and dance made the play both visually engaging and incredibly funny, as well as being effective devices for connecting the story in a seamless manner. The three dances, choreographed by Ms Drusilla Harris, added pace and precision to the evening and complemented the ensemble feel of the production. There were elements of farce and slapstick comedy that were finely executed and ensured that the audience were kept captivated throughout. The wonderful costumes and use of charming make-up, crafted by Mrs Julia Clarke and her team of Sixth Form helpers, added a further touch of class and charisma to proceedings and transported the audience to the underground world of the story.
Director and Fourth Form Drama teacher, Mrs Nicola Macpherson, commented: "What a thrill it has been to work with the Fourth Form on ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’. During rehearsals the children worked brilliantly as a team, as was evident in their fabulous (or should I say ‘fantastic’) performance. Thanks must go to all of the teachers involved in creating this play but especially to Mrs Clarke, Ms Harris, George Marlin, our Drama Gap student, and of course, Mr Clarke, Head of Drama, for all of their help and support. Lastly, thank you to all of the parents for coming to watch and for supporting the children."