The Wind in the Willows

Date 22nd March 2019
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue Lytton Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Dave Slade and Corrina Winnett

Report

Author: Vicki Avery

Directors Dave Slade and Corrina Winnett  adapted this well-known children's story and added a new element in Act 2 by suggesting what might have happened next in the story by using improvised ideas and suggestions from the older youth group. 

The four main characters in Act 1, lovable Mole (Charlotte Dorme), sensible Rat (Sammy-Kate Taylor), grumpy Badger (Evan Johnson) and the very vain Toad (Austin Holland) captured all the mannerisms of their animal characters and obviously enjoyed working together. I must mention costumes at this point as they had been very cleverly thought out with great attention to detail.

In Act 2 the four main animals were again instantly recognisable both in appearance and portrayal. Hayden Chambers as Mole, Amber Rosen as Rat, Ashleigh as Badger and Jess Gibson as Toad did a grand job. Well done. 

The whole cast had been encouraged to use mannerisms appropriate to the animal they were portraying, including the Wild Wooders, with their gangster appearance. 

The portrayal of Albert (Chloe Miles and Chloe Gajic) the rather grumpy and put-upon horse, was lovely, with all the snorting and foot stamping and clever timing to bring out all the humour of the character. 

The Narrators, in the guise of Rabbit (Trixabelle Vought and Jade Shek ) both portrayed their character well but try not to speak quite so quickly. Let your audience enjoy the story you are telling.

I was a little disappointed with the general pace, particularly in the first act; people were not picking up their cues quickly enough and it was almost as if they had forgotten their lines. This was a shame as technically it was good; there was lovely characterisation and appropriate costumes and make-up. The children were well disciplined, responding appropriately to the action and speaking out well with good diction. 

The lighting and sound were well timed and added greatly to the overall effect. 

This was an enjoyable performance with a cast of 40 plus all of whom had a featured moment during the evening. Congratulations to you all.

Thank you for your hospitality.