'There's a message to the story about community, togetherness, solidarity and what makes a good leader' – Director Maria Aberg on Fantastic Mr Fox
Warm and humorous stage adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic story will bring the tale to the hearts of another generation
First published in 1970, Roald Dahl's classic children's adventure, Fantastic Mr Fox has seen something of a revival in later life.
Once upon a time, crossover into film and animated cartoons allowed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG the greatest public notoriety; yet since George Clooney and Meryl Streep voiced Wes Anderson's stop-motion animation of Mr Fox's chicken-stealing adventures in 2009, and this musical version hit London, a new generation is getting to know Dahl's tale.
'I'm delighted that lots of people will get the chance to see it, because I think it's a really wonderful bit of writing,' says director Maria Aberg. 'Sam Holcroft's adaptation is incredibly funny and fast, a really witty take on the original with a few new twists and turns. Sam has brought the book to life in a way that feels very vivid and contemporary, with lots of warmth and humour.'
Created for the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations last year, the action-packed play also features music and lyrics from composer Arthur Darvill (he doesn't appear onstage here, but many might know him best as the actor who played Rory in Doctor Who). And as with all of Dahl's tales, it's a pure romp which has as much allegorical depth as you could look for. 'There's a message to the story that's very important at this particular point in time,' says Aberg, 'about community, togetherness, solidarity and what makes a good leader.'