The Wind in the Willows

Date 12th April 2019
Society Three Towns Theatre Company
Venue Brooke Theatre, Chatham
Type of Production Musical
Director Debra Harold
Musical Director Martyn Clements
Choreographer Lucy Barber

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Author: Gordon Harris

Who needs the Palladium when you have The Wind in the Willows at The Brooke Theatre Chatham.

Of course the Palladium has the technical ability to do anything, remote control boats and cars, where TTTC use their feet !!!…The stage set and props get top billing for me, they were so innovative and superb in fact, this being down to Geoff Coote and Gwyneth Loft as set designers. Costumes were also well thought through: colourful, the toning of colours gave all the characters a sense of being and gave the whole show a happy feeling - congratulations go out to Gwyneth Loft as wardrobe mistress, she has a good eye for detail.

Debra Harold Director, Lucy Barber as Choreographer, and Martyn Clements as Musical Director, keep this show alive and it flowed along nicely. Debra for her knowledge and professionalism in direction, Lucy’s choreography was simple but very affective and fitted this cast perfectly.  Musical direction in Martyn’s hands would always be musically sound. Stage management (Louise Parrot) keeps this TWITW rolling along nicely.

With 18 main parts in this TWITW forgive me if I don’t mention you all. Mr Toad: a rotund Tony Harold led this cast, he was perfect for Mr Toad. In the past I have seen Tony in various roles, this is your best yet….!!! Ratty: Gwyneth Loft, what a change from Norma Desmond, to Ratty, your characterization was top notch, as was the young man (Aidan Loft ) playing Mole. He gave us a vulnerability, as only mole should have…well done Aidan. Mr Badger:  Andy Hollidge gave us a powerful performance, both in acting and in song. Mrs Otter, Portia: Carol Ashman and Kirsty Holyer were teamed well together, as was, Mr and Mrs Hedgehog (Maggie Fuller and Geoff Cote) - all gave solid performances, along with the Hedgehog kids, George Gee and Zelia-Mae Barber. Chief Weasel: John Bishop - well, well, well John was extremely gangster-looking and those teeth, great portrayal of a nasty weasel. Magistrate: Pen Taylor - a great cameo role, very stern and convincing. Supporting roles Emma Barnes, Esther McLellan, Elizabeth Harrold, Samantha Grace, and Janet Tuner. Along with an ensemble made up of Chrissy Packham,Tony Peckham, Amelia Coady, Amy McKinnon, Sam Loft, Daisey MacGregor, Chole Rose Jones, Harper Cloughley, Sam Cura, Sydney Cura, Carol Kemsley,Trevor Cleaves ,Zoe Mock,and Ellie-Mai O,Reilly.   

This TWITW was a joy to watch and the camaraderie showed! I don’t have any of my usual gripes. Well-done TTTC company for a most enjoyable evening.