The Wind in the Willows

A new, site-specific adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic, created in partnership with Ant Stones and Guildford Shakespeare Company. A promenade production performed in the gardens and woodland of Watts Gallery in Surrey.

★★★★★ Farnham Herald

★★★★★ The story has been adapted by Ant Stones for GSC and offers much imaginative scope. Director Tom Littler takes full advantage, with strands of high farce, high camp and high fun… The production is well-paced, inventive and hugely satisfying. Jeff Thomson, Surrey Advertiser

★★★★ Tom Littler’s direction is slick. There is a professionality about his production which extends from keeping the cast in character as they help us negotiate the woods through the attention to detail in Badger’s lair to the excellent choreography of the slow motion ‘fight for toad hall’ scene. There are no problems with audibility throughout the show and Matt Eaton’s sound plot is spot on and well delivered.  Neil Irish has devised a simple but ingenious stage to adapt easily between the various venues and his use of the Wood is spell-binding. Bill Avenell, Public Reviews

As always this innovative and enthusiastic company has some surprises in store. A Canary Yellow Caravan is flipped up from the stage, and disappears just as quickly when it lands in a ditch. Otter pops up from the river to the sound of bubbling water, sound effects throughout so well thought-out and executed (Matt Eaton) that I felt I could even smell the river… Very quick changes are the order of the day as the seven actors all play multiple characters, with animal costumes to complicate the arrangement… As always, the cast rise to the occasion and provide fun and excitement. Sheila Connor, British Theatre Guide

Ant Stones’ new adaptation of The Wind in the Willows was written specifically to be performed in the Watts Gallery gardens and woodlands. Guildford Shakespeare Company makes good use of this hidden Surrey gem and treats us to an enchanting evening’s entertainment, exploring the timeless story of riverside creatures in a new and captivating way. Gentle use of music and some clever sound effects underpin the action, reaching a musical crescendo with Ravel’s Bolero and some well-choreographed fighting as the animals reclaim Toad Hall in a climactic set piece. The evening really did feel like a magical treat! Judith Conyers, Essential Surrey

Cast

Richard Emerson, Sarah Gobran, Johanne Murdock, Matt Pinches, Chris Porter, Rob Witcomb, Christopher York

Creative Team

Adaptor – Ant Stones

Set Designer – Neil Irish

Assistant Designer – Anett Black

Sound Designer – Matt Eaton

Choreographer – Charlotte Conquest

Music – Mary McAdam