Wind In The Willows is a true classic, loved by many, and this performance lived up to the name.
From the minute the show began, you were completely engrossed and felt like you were within their world. This was particularly impressive as this was quite a stripped back version.
The costumes, staging and prop use were simple but effective and allowed the audience to get into the story without anything being taken away — but nothing was over the top. There was just one set used throughout the entire show, and the actors used it differently depending on where they should be.
For example, when Ratty and Mole were rowing along the river, the set looked like a riverbank and waterway. When they were at Toad Hall, it became the grand country house just by adding a framed photo of Toad. In a similar way, the theatre itself was used to their advantage.
The actors came on stage through the audience, walked through aisles to make it seem as if they were travelling a long way, and the upper tiers were used for characters to look down on certain events. This made the show feel even more inclusive and almost as if, we, the audience were part of the story too.
Everyone really brought their characters to life, the main characters of Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad were portrayed brilliantly, and they should be proud of the work they did as these iconic roles. The smaller roles were excellent too and whether the characters were on stage for only a few moments or reoccurring throughout, they made the roles memorable and convincing.
The moments where actors broke the fourth wall to talk to the audience, or make gestures — for example, Toad winking at the crowd when a devious plan was going his way — worked well and added a fun element of humour. This, in particular, made the younger audience members really laugh, making it even more enjoyable for them.
Whilst Wind In The Willows is known as children’s book, this performance was perfect for any age. It was a real piece of family entertainment with moments everyone would like.
I have always loved Wind In The Willows and this performance rekindled my love of it, bringing back the memories of reading it and watching the cartoon film version, but in it’s very own unique way.
Although this was an amateur performance from Bath Spa Live, it felt professional and like every actor had been doing this for years. Well done to everyone!
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Reviewer: Chloe Rogers | Rating: ***** Five Stars | Production: Bath Spa Live