The Wind in the Willows, London Palladium
Reviewed by Becky Mary on the 4th of July 2017, Evening performance
The Wind and the Willows is a fun and quirky show, especially for younger audiences and families but does lack excitement in some areas of this production . Overall it is a simple and fun musical for families with younger children.
As a child (which seems a long time ago) I knew of the book ‘The Wind in the Willows” wrote by Kenneth Grahame which told of an over excitable Toad that liked to get into trouble with new fads such as fast cars, boats and even goes to the length of stealing to get these. At the same time we see Mole who is normally quiet go and explore down by the river where he meets Rat and Otter. As the story goes on we see Mole and Rat come together to try to save one of the otters stolen by the wicked Foxes, Weasels and Stoats who also take over Toad Hall after making sure that Mr Toad goes to Prison. We see how friendship and the help of old friends such as Badger can help sort not only the villainous animals, but also remind Toad that what he is doing is wrong. As we all know because it being a children’s book it does have a happy ending.
The show was overall fun and brightly coloured which is good for attracting younger members of the audiences to the stage and the set that has been created, but I do think that because the stage is so big it can be hard to make the stage work with the set. The actors were very involved with their characters and a strong singing ensemble which I was happily surprised by especially the younger children in the cast who did not get lost within the cast. One of my favourite parts of this show which made the whole audience laugh was the Hedgehogs who were trying to cross the road, what made it even more funny was that they were wearing scouting uniform with the badges on almost like they were attempting to get there “crossing the road” badge. The costumes were simple and i think some of them worked really well and others could do with a little more to help understand what type of animal they are as there were some that I felt were almost half-finished.
The music itself is very catchy and fun. This did help create different moods to not just the places within the show but also the characters. The singing from everyone was strong and harmonies were very tight together.
Finally Mr Toad who is played by Rufus Hound fits the role perfectly, with his over the top attitude and crazy personality the casting for this is right on the dot. I was very happily surprised with not just the overall feel I got from Russell but also his singing was very good as well.
The Wind in the Willows is a strictly limited season and will be playing at the London Palladium until 9th September 2017
Tickets can be purchased here : https://www.windinthewillowsthemusical.com/