As the first half of Lent term drew to an end at Whitgift School, the Lower First and First Form took Roald Dahl’s tale of Fantastic Mr Fox to the Whitgift stage.
Before opening night, 120 pupils from local primary schools filled the PAC for the first of the 3 performances and the 45-minute show was packed with entertainment.
Long before the students had taken on the personas of foxes, badgers, moles and weasels, the Creatives were hard at work producing a mechanical digger, matching anything you would see in the West End, and giving the show a real WOW moment as it appeared from the side of the stage!
The cast did a great job of making every character distinctive. The audience watched apple cider-swigging Farmer Bean become increasingly deranged as he led Farmer Bunce (reknown for his goose liver donuts!) and Farmer Boggis (who stinks of chickens) in his plan to stop Mr Fox stealing their ducks, chickens and turkeys once and for all! In doing so he starts destroying the countryside and launches a war against nature.
The set and staging were amazing, like a layered woodland cake that brilliantly placed the animals in their subterranean burrows while at the same time showing the farmers in action above ground.
The projected animations, courtesy of the Whitgift Audio Visual Department, tied together the digging and tunnelling with the world above perfectly.
Sixth Former and co-director Sam Kelly worked tirelessly with the young cast – some of whom had never appeared on stage before – who loved having an older student to learn from.
“These young actors, the youngest in our school, have worked incredibly hard for each other, and Miss Seal and I are incredibly proud of them all”, commented Mr Pirrie.
When Mr Badger points out to Mr Fox that it was he who had got them all into this mess, Mr Fox invites all the animals to his set to feast like kings and brings the underground community together.
Together, all the animals help win the day.
Thank you to all those who contributed to the success of this production.