This summer, the SSA drama’s charming family production of Wind in the Willows brings to life the characters we all know and love from the delightful classic tale in this stage adaptation.
It’s the perfect intimate theatre to create the cosiness of the production. Impressively designed, the set captures the community of the animals, completely transporting the audience into the story. Designed with impeccable detail, the set is remarkable and adds huge colour and vibrancy to the performance.
When young mole is tired of spring cleaning and decides to venture out onto the riverbank, he befriends Ratty, Badger and the infamous Toad of Toad Hall. We follow their adventures, misadventures and everything they stumble across on the way.
Erin Craddock as Mole opens the story with charisma as she introduces us to the animals. Leading the storytelling, Craddock has a natural warmth as she gives an engaging performance. Ratty, her companion played by Emma Doran has superb characterisation. As the mediator of the animals, her calm patience keeps them on the straight and narrow.
As the firm but fair Badger, Rachel Pinwell’s authoritive performance sets the tone as the older and wiser character in the group. This comes into place when Toad of Toad Hall goes off the rails and starts getting himself into a lot of trouble. Ricardo Alexander is truly brilliant as the elaborate and extroverted Toad. His immense energy and slick comedy timing brings huge (vibrancy) to the performance.
When the animals get into trouble down at the Wild Wood, they are faced with the evil Chief Weasel. Harvey Grant multi-roles as Evil Chief Weasel and
Mirroring the detail of the set, the costumes are inventively designed by Melody Faulkner, Michele Faulkner and Andy Moore. With horses in tap shoes, hedgehogs with spiky backpacks and a head torch on the mole, it’s a wonderfully subtle way to create the animal’s costumes – capturing the imagination of the audience.
Chris Cooper’s direction creates a tremendous piece of storytelling through a variety of enchanting characters and delightful music. The Wind in the Willows is a superb production for all the family.
Wind in the Willows is on at the Dovehouse Theatre until Saturday 25th of August, tickets and information can be found here.
Photo credit – Joe McGeehan