The Wind in the Willows

Date 30th June 2022
Society PMA Theatre
Venue Theatre Colwyn, Colwyn Bay
Type of Production Musical
Director Gaynor Highcock
Musical Director Karen Rees Davies

Report

Author: Lyn Emmerson

This wonderful story came to light at Theatr Colwyn and was an excellent choice for cast and audiences of all ages. Based on the book by Kenneth Grahame, this edition was written by Julian Fellows, with Music by George Stiles and Lyrics by Anthony Drewe.

The opening set the pace for the whole piece with the ensemble in The English Countryside, and the whole show flowed through the 15 scenes without a pause. The 32 members of cast pulled out all the stops . Many of the ensemble portrayed two, three or even four different creatures which appeared throughout the story. At this point I am prompted to mention Josephine Hauler-Davies who did a sterling job in charge of Costume Design, this was a magnificent undertaking. The stage was full of hedgehogs, moles, squirrels, field mice, swallows rabbits (including a baby rabbit) and otters, as well as the evil weasels and stoats, each one suitably attired. The main characters in the piece were all experienced players and gelled  together in all their tasks. Sam Highcock portrayed the role of Ratty with confidence whilst Ruth Jones set a high standard in the role of Mole. Landon Sweeney was perfectly cast as Badger giving  us a commanding performance. The enviable role of Toad was the responsibility of Jonathan Hughes who was very comfortable in his role, and Rhiannon Huws played Portia with real heart. Kathryn Williams fully justified her selection as Mrs Otter thus adding to the success of the piece. Another excellent characterisation from Jo Greenhalgh as Chief Weasel, demonstrating why she had been nominated Chief Weasel by her followers, including Kit Greenhalgh as Lesser Weasel. There were many minor roles and it was clear the Director had paid attention to each contribution individually. Chorus numbers were well rehearsed, some lovely harmony at times, particularly the swallows! ‘We’re Taking Over the Hall’ and ‘A Friend is Still a Friend’ were memorable together with many other musical numbers in this piece.  

The set was cleverly constructed with the centrepiece being reversed at times to denote the change of scenery. It was obvious that a great deal of research had been done in respect of the stage set and props. Congratulations to all the ‘Behind The Scenes Crew’ under the direction of their Stage Manager, Kirsty Smith.

A huge thank you for your invitation once more. So glad to see the Company flourishing after  the Covid break and providing the public with excellent family entertainment.

Well Done all. I Look forward to your next production.

 

This is the opinion of the Reviewer.