The adventures of Toad, Badger and Ratty .......

The Wind in the Wil­lows is al­ways a win­ning choice, writes Jes­sica Hux­ley

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS -

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

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