Book by Julian Fellowes

Music and Lyrics by George Styles and Anthony Drewe

Based on the book by Kenneth Grahame

 

Two reviews:

 

NODA Review by Allan Mears

This musical version of Wind in the Willows with Book by Julian Fellowes and music and lyrics by Stiles and Drewe, is based on the famous book by Kenneth Grahame. The story follows the impulsive Mr. Toad whose has an insatiable need for speed.

This was a large cast who worked very hard, producing some very creditable performances. Excellent team work, good delivery of dialogue, clear diction all made for a polished performance from a very talented cast.

For me there were three stand out performances. Matthew Lee – Toad – totally captured the extrovert, exuberant, bumptious and irrepressible nature of Toad and portrayed this madcap fool to perfection. He anchored the show with confidence. Daniel Parker – Mole – delivered a delightful, charming and naive characterization, with the sensitivity and care that is needed. His mannerisms and expressions were spot on and he radiated warmth and humour which gave a lovely depth to his character. James Osbourne – Chief Weasel - was suitably dastardly and was in his element playing this role, seizing whatever opportunity presented to fleece the unsuspecting, very much a likeable rogue.

These main cast was strongly supported by the other principals who each gave strong performances, full of character – Joshua Neal [Ratty], Nick Pratt [Badger], Helen Mussell [ Mrs Otter], Kate Chadwick [Portia], Rhiannon  Rose-Goodsir [Mrs Hedgehog] and Richard Thomas [Mr Hedgehog].

It appears that the whole cast had been encouraged to use mannerisms appropriate to the animal they were portraying, and obviously enjoyed working together.

This was a creative production, colourful and positive, with some talented leading characters recreating the timeless story beautifully. In summary, a show which was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.

This was my final official visit as NODA Rep to Concept Theatre, therefore I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your hospitality over the years.

 

Penarth View Review by Katherine Peach

Concept Players are back! Following their successful performances last year, they are kicking off the year with a charming classic of Wind in the Willows and I was lucky enough to be invited to come and review their opening performance at the Paget Rooms. I didn’t know much about this show going in, but having loved the story growing up I was excited to see how they were going to bring this story to life on stage. 

This whimsical show was so much fun to watch. With high energy performances throughout and each member of the cast threw themselves into this performance, leading to create something truly special. It’s a difficult balance to strike when creating a show that can be enjoyed by all ages, but by leaning into the nostalgia of this beloved tale while also making this show their own made this a delightful performance for all. 

A special nod has to go to an audience favourite, Daniel Parker as Mole. His charming and often funny portrayal of the character captured our hearts. And his performance of ‘A Place To Come Back To’ was truly heart-warming. A great talent. Along with his quick-tempered but loyal friend Ratty, portrayed by Joshua Neal, who had the audience laughing from start to finish, together they both really embodied these infamous characters and while also adding a new depth to them. And another special mention has to go to Nick Pratt as Badger, aside from his costume being one of my personal favourites, his portrayal of the character was incredible, and his voice stunned the audience in his performance of ‘A Friend Is Still A Friend’.

The rest of the cast, Matthew Lee as Toad, James Osborne as Chief Weasel, Helen Mussell as Mrs Otter, Kate Chadwick as Portia, Rhiannon Rose-Goodsir, Richard Thomas, Ruby Purnell, Gabriel Jenkins, Shane Rose-Goodsir, Ingrid Watson, Kevin Morgan, Zoë Philpott, Helen Rose, Chris Dimbleby, Kate Sunderland, James Persons, Emma Pead, Kate Smith, Iona D’Souza and Harriet Maxwell, all gave us a high-energy performance and helped bring this world to life on stage.

Director and Choreographer Richard Thomas, along with the rest of the cast have created a show that is fun for all the family and is a must-see for anyone looking for a night of upbeat performances, a surprisingly beautiful score and friendly adventure. Wind in the Willows will be at the Paget Rooms until 13th April and tickets are selling out fast, so get yours now!

 

Mr Toad

Ratty

Mole

Badger