Contributed by Annabelle King:

If you’re looking for a summer holiday treat for the children, get yourselves over to Holland Park for an unforgettable introduction to opera.  The highly successful 2010 production of Fantastic Mr Fox has returned to the Yucca Lawn and is better than ever.

A ‘promenade’ opera, you are greeted on arrival by wood nymphs who guide you to the first of several stunning open air sets, each dotted around the beautiful grounds.  You are invited to plop down on your borrowed cushion and watch the story unfold to the accompaniment of the wonderful London Mozart Players who move effortlessly around the open air space with you.

The children can buy fox ears, sit right up at the front and get really close to the performers who sing their way through the wonderful tale of Mr Fox and his family up against the dastardly three Farmers – Boggis, Bunce and Bean.  After each short act you are invited to the next set to watch the tale unfold, giving the kids a chance to grab their cushion and race to the next scene.  I’ve never seen my children so excited whilst watching a performance.  There’s no getting stuck in a hard seat for two hours here.  This in itself is a rarity for children’s theatre.

There is something truly magical about outdoor opera – the costumes and sets are stunning and the very palatable fifty minute abridged version of this wonderful story is told in a witty and engaging way.  The children were singing ‘Boggis, Bunce and Bean’ all the way home in the car, arguing as to which came first – ‘short’ or ‘fat’ or ‘lean’.  A wonderful version of this much loved children’s story it will appeal to all generations although grannies may not appreciate the cushions on the ground!

Fantastic Mr Fox continues through July and August although tickets are selling out fast – for more information call 0300 999 1000 or visit

This posting was contributed by Annabelle King who lives in Shepherds Bush.  After a crazy ten year career in advertising, she gave it all up to be bossed about by her three little girls. Her blog The Bush Babies was started in 2007, where she writes about the highs and lows of parenthood and raising three little girls in London.


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