Mr Toad has a new fad: his gypsy caravan is just the thing, until it gets flattened by a motor car. Poop Poop! Once seen, Toad has to have one of those! To the consternation of his friends, Mr Toad dashes about in his new red motor car until, alas, he is taken prisoner. Meanwhile, the Wind is in the Willows and all is not well deep in the Wild Wood, as the evil ferrets and weasels take over Toad Hall.
Following last year‘s success with Treasure Island, the same writer, director and design team have created a play that perfectly suits the small and atmospheric Watermill Theatre. The set, designed by Hayley Grindle, is witty and clever and the music, composed by Simon Slater, has a jazzy feel played with versatility by the remarkable 6 strong cast. Howard Coggins is lovable as Toad and Naomi Sheldon‘s Mole convinced me that the Mole should always be female! Philip Buck is an indefatigable Ratty and Steve Watts brings appropriate gravitas to Badger. Lauren Storer and Jack Beale, quick change artists both, play an impressive number of parts from evil ferrets to frightened rabbits. My 8 year old companion was on the edge of her seat laughing at the French Black Rat and we both felt sorry for the poor ferret that had to pull the Gypsy Caravan!
It is Wind in the Willows, but with a twist. Once again, Robin Belfield directs an enjoyable Christmas show (running until January 7th).