Sounds Musical Theatre Company were on top form with their performance of ‘The Wind In The Willows’. This relatively new musical is full of charm and English wit, as is the cast. This production is sure to propel the company to the top of the game on the Plymouth Am-Dram scene.
Based on the classic by Kenneth Grahame, this timeless story has been brought to the next generation by Downton Abbey creator Juilan Fellowes. As the story gently moves along we are introduced to all the characters including Moley (Luke Redding), Ratty (Dylan Beard), and of course Mr Toad (Leigh Jarman).
Moley and Ratty begin their friendship with the song ‘Messing About In A Boat’ which has a gentle lilting feel to it that perfectly depicts the riverside creatures. Mrs Otter (Natasha Clarke), and her daughter Portia (Imogen Clarke) are swimming and paddling around the river with clever choreography during this fun scene.
One of the biggest laughs of the night came courtesy of one of the smaller characters in this show, the horse. The horse’s movements are shown through tap dancing and this poor fed up creature’s mood was hilariously reflected in the dance moves.
In sharp contrast with the gentle river creatures who sang beautiful harmonised melodies, the Wild Wooders gave their best impressions of gangsters and villains. The Chief Weasel (Malcolm Rowe) and Lesser Weasel (Rachel Driscoll) had clearly been perfecting their best ruffian voices as their cackles and quick one-liners resonated around the stage.
It was a shame that there was not a full orchestra for this production however the two keyboard players and percussionist presented a rich score and full sound.
One of the most impressive aspects of this show is the scenery which frequently changed to suit a number of scenes including a caravan, a prison cell, and a river barge. Praise goes to the hard work and smooth scene changes performed by the stage crew on this highly technical production.
This is an absolute must-see for all generations who are in for a treat so in the words of Mr Toad it’s time to Poop Poop, and speed on down to the theatre.