The adventures of Toad, Badger and Ratty .......
The Wind in the Willows is always a winning choice, writes Jessica Huxley
MURWILLUMBAH Theatre Company’s rendition of the classic The Wind in the Willows has opened with children and adults enjoying the brilliant cast and clever costumes.
Director Bryanne Jardine says the story, adapted from the Kenneth Grahame novel about river life and friendship, is a subtle blend of British humour and anthropomorphism.
‘‘We have adapted the characters so they are still humans but with animal characteristics,’’ she says.
‘‘We have studied the personalities of Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger in the novel and workshopped the characters and found out what it is that makes them stand out.
‘‘Badger is still uptight and gruff; Toad is a wonderful, friendly kind of character, while Ratty is still happy-golucky with a leisurely river life.
‘‘It’s been really interesting and exciting seeing the transformation of characters from rehearsals to the stage. The cast is doing a wonderful job.’’
The play, adapted by John Morley, follows the beloved characters in an enchanting adventure story about Toad’s addiction to caravanning and his obsession with cars.
Ms Jardine says audiences feel the sadness of his imprisonment and joy of escape with the help of his loyal friends, who help him in his fight to regain Toad Hall from the wicked weasels.
‘‘It’s a pantomime so the audience has received it really well – it’s very much family fun.
‘‘For those people who’ve never been to live theatre this is a great introduction where they can boo the villains and cheer the heroes.
‘‘The opportunity to stage this classic story and introduce it to a whole new range of children and bring the story back to life for older generations who might remember reading it as a bedtime story has been a lovely experience.
‘‘The story is a classic with a strong moral to it about being careful how you live and do well to the people around you.’’
The Wind in the Willows plays Murwillumbah Civic Centre on Saturday at 4.30pm, Sunday at 1pm, Saturday week at 6.30pm and Sunday week at 4.30pm.
Tiarn and Kiera Paddock as villagers with Hayden Smith as Badger, David Thomas as Toad, Jean Watson as Ratty