Note from the Director ...
"Never Work with children or animals" - so wrote the comedic genius W.C. Fields, and at times I could empathise with the 'animals' bit, even though the cast go on two legs rather than four.
On the face of it 'The Wind in the Willows' is a straightforward, gentle tale of furry folk of river and wood. Don't you believe it! This stage version has been imishly infiltrated by Alan Bennett, a far more worldly character than the gentle and melancholy Kenneth Grahame. It shows, too ...in Ratty's obsessive compulsive behaviour, the Weasel's interest in property development and the doleful mussing of the social commentator Albert the Horse, an equine Billy Bragg.
To what extent do the cast 'become' animals? I feel that the costumes are mearly a top dressing, that Rat, Mole, Toad and the rest still come across as people, and the audience relate to them accordingly. As for the set, when you consider it involves three separate animal homes, a river and a wood, while the props list takes in a caravan, a rowing boat, a car, a train and a barge - all fully mobile - you can appreciate what a challenge it was for the cast and crew to get it all together in an often freezing cold rehearsal shed. The fact that they did is credit to them all, and I am very proud of what has been achieved.
Nick Fletcher, Director