Published: 00:03, 24 February 2017
It is a challenge but a joyous challenge. I couldn’t just do one or the other, I have to do both. I have a fun job and I would never complain about it!
I don’t think anything translates easily to stage but I think his stories are so rich and full of brilliant well defined characters that it is a real joy to see these characters, especially those from Fantastic Mr Fox jump out of the book.
It has been a real privilege to write music for this. It’s a pinch yourself moment. When re-reading the book I thought “I love this book but I don’t know if I can do this”, which I think is a good reaction. It has been about honouring what Dahl wrote and making sure the music tells the story in the best we can tell it.
Were you a fan of the book Fantastic Mr Fox growing up?
I am a massive Roald Dahl fan – he was basically my introduction to reading. I remember reading Fox in my cabin bed that I had growing up in Birmingham. I read it in one go, in one night and just absolutely loved it. It had a drastic impact on the way my world was shaped. Dahl made the most disgusting things in life seem like the most joyous. He also had a great sense of justice, which can only be a good thing.
There are a definite group of characters In Fantastic Mr Fox; humans and animals. I wanted to give them both a very different sound to start with and as the story develops, these sounds slightly cross over depending on what is happening. The farmers have a dirty earthly English sound and the animals are freer. Mr Fox is arrogant at times and Mouse sings about cheese, which is very sweet.
It’s a perfect family show for all ages. I hope audiences take away melodies that they can sing on their way home. This show is so much fun and the right people get their comeuppance. It is not black and white. You will go home discussing the moral content of the story whilst laughing at the jokes.
Fantastic Mr Fox will be at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford from Tuesday, February 28 to Sunday, March 5. Tickets cost from £17.50, visit orchardtheatre.co.uk or call 01322 220000.
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