This July, The Little Company is bringing back Roald Dahl favourite, Fantastic Mr Fox, this time in Mandarin! We catch up with Associate Director, Cherilyn Woo, who shares her love for Roald Dahl’s stories as well as how they have been her inspiration as she prepares to direct the play.
Q1. Are you a fan of Roald Dahl, and what do you like about his stories?
Absolutely! Roald Dahl books were one of my favourite reads as a child. When my parents brought me to the bookstore, I’d always include a Roald Dahl book in my buy list. I may have even bought Charlie and the Chocolate Factory twice! (Well my parents bought it for me) there’s just something so magical, whimsical and fun about his stories. It totally captures your attention and transports you to these wonderful worlds of the imaginary. And the best thing is that it sticks! He creates such visceral and great stories which are full of colour, it’ll definitely form a special memory for anyone reading it. I just love the way it manages to captivate you and transport you somewhere else.
Q2. Can you share with us how you felt when you first read Fantastic Mr Fox? What struck you most about the story?
I love a great story about the importance of family. There’s a lot of risks Mr Fox and his family and friends have to go through in order to survive. So even though it’s a heartwarming story, there’s a great deal of adventure and action as well! Also, it’s got a very charming and intelligent main character like Mr Fox. It just makes it such an engaging read. He’s a really unconventional hero, you know? Through his trickery and wittiness, you see his bravery and how he puts his family first, which is really touching. That’s the beauty in this story, it brings new light to the idea of what it takes to be a hero, a parent and a human.
Q3. What are some of your sources of inspiration as you prepare for directing this play?
Believe it or not, it’s actually my childhood collection of Roald Dahl books, I couldn’t bear to give them away. Its such a joy reading them and just re-living the experience of being immersed in the stories. Its really given me the perfect excuse to carry a children’s book around, if any of my friends laugh at me I just reply with, “It’s for inspiration and these books are awesome.”
Q4. Will there be anything different to the Mandarin version from the English production in 2012?
There’s been a couple of updates, the team is working really hard to bring you a fantastic show. Aside from telling you it’s in a different language with an entirely different cast, I’m not sure what I could share that wouldn’t make it to the spoiler list. Just come watch it, and maybe if you come and find me we could play a game of spot the difference.
Q5. Why should parents bring their children to watch Fantastic Mr Fox in Mandarin?
Like all of SRT’s The Little Company shows, it’s guaranteed to pack a ton of fun, adventure and thrill in your morning or afternoon. I also think it’s such a great opportunity for the entire family to come watch a show and appreciate family time.