It’s sad to say that there’s a whole generation which has grown up thinking that Dr Doolittle is a run of the mill special effects comedy starring Eddie Murphy as the boffin who learns how to talk to the animals and gets into all sorts of scrapes as a result.
But before Hollywood gots its hands on the story, the doctor was the hero of a successful series of books by author Hugh Lofting – and provided the inspiration for one of the biggest cinema flops of the 1960s.
A 1967 musical movie adaptation, starring Rex Harrison as the doctor, was famously troubled and failed to make much of an impression at the box office against the rival attractions of Disney’s The Jungle Book.
But it was a much bigger success when transferred to the stage in 1998, starring Philip Schofield, and now The Vale Musical Society is taking up the challenge in what is described as the first am dram production of the show in the south of England.
Featuring familiar hit songs like Talk To The Animals and I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It, the show opens at Pendley’s Court Theatre on Wednesday and runs through until Saturday. Tickets are £8 to £13 from 07543 560 478 or online at www.courttheatre.co.uk..