Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

I have a great fondness for Kenneth Grahame’s wistful tale Wind In The Willows. I think my connection with this beautiful story stems from being captivated by the 1983 animated version in which David Jason voiced Mr Toad, and reading the book as a child.

So, it was with real excitement that I went along to see Alan Bennett’s adaptation of the play at the Peoples Theatre.

I must mention the set and the costumes. Both were superb and brought the much-loved riverbank scene and characters to life.

Mole, played by Emma Jane Richards and Rat by Sam Hinton were the linchpins of the play. Their characterisation of these classic characters was brilliant.

Roger Liddle as the encourageable Mr Toad was a delight. His over-the-top portrayal was mesmerising.

Helga McNeil as the menacing chief weasel was wonderful, and a special mention has to go to Mark Burden as Albert the horse. His comic timing and Brummie accent was pure genius.

Anna Dobson’s clever direction of this warm, witty and charming story was inspired and credit goes to all who were involved.

I left the theatre feeling as though I had been transported back to a time when the world was a gentler place, and that’s not a bad thing. A lovely piece of escapist theatre.

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