Reviews of 'The Vicar of Dibley'
Reviews of 'The Wind in the Willows'
Review by Peter Breach, NODA
This was Kenneth Grahame’s well known and much loved story of furry creatures from the woods and river bank adapted for the stage by Alan Bennett. It is an enchanting tale in which the characters are portrayed as animals yet have the thought and behavioural patterns of humans. Understandably, the inclusion of animals appeals to children whilst at the same time Bennett’s dry wit keeps the adults amused. The character ‘Albert’, the horse, played by Jed Laxton, fits into this category quite precisely – children in an audience like horses, adults are very much taken by this character’s homespun philosophy.
The set for this production was brilliantly designed and constructed, it accommodated the wood, river and land over which a caravan, boat, car and train travel. There were strong performances from those in the principal roles. Mandie Collier gave an accurate portrayal of the character ‘Toad’ who is described in Grahame’s book as being headstrong and conceited but good natured, Gemma Page was excellent as the inquisitive and keen to learn ‘Mole’, her diction was superb. Mark Spelman was very much into character as ‘Ratty’, the friendly boating fanatic and Troy Melvin acquitted himself well as ‘Badger’ the strong principled avuncular elder statesman. Those in supporting roles played their parts enthusiastically and contributed much to this production. The costumes were most appropriate and the make-up cleverly applied.
Thank you St Nics for choosing to stage this super show which has no vulgarity in it.