This evening I went to see West Yorkshire Playhouse’s production of the well loved classic ‘The Wind in The Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame. It is a brand new production adapted for the stage by Leeds’ own Alan Bennett, and directed by Ian Brown.
I would describe it as a furry, musical, family-friendly version of The League of Gentlemen if it was crossed with both Wallace and Gromit and Last of The Summer Wine… and set on a river bank. Ace!
The casting was great, the bright, stylish set and costumes stood out as always at The Playhouse, and you could really hear Bennett’s dry Yorkshire wit too.
The audience of all ages were clearly having lots of fun throughout the show. Here’s me messing about with the promotional boards in the foyer during the interval:
I think the tracks i picked out below for the playlist are pretty self explanatory if you know the story and characters – but just in case you don’t I’ve added a little note by the tracklistings below.
- The Walkmen – The Rat (for the character Ratty and me as I love this track!)
- Chuck Berry – No Particular Place To Go (Toad ‘driving along in his automobile’ crashes, then goes to prison for stealing it from someone else – after crashing again)
- Blur – Country House (aka Toad Hall)
- Tom Waits – Underground (for the character Mole, who lives in a hole obviously)
- Nick Drake – River Man (Ratty happily befriends Mole, and teaches him the civilised ways of riverbank life)
- The Kinks – Dedicated Follower Of Fashion (for Toad and his eccentric, attention seeking outfits)
- Absentee – Weasel (The cockney troublemakers squatting in Toad Hall were fought out by the good guys – I loved their costumes and makeup!)
- Patrick Wolf – The Bachelor (Ratty proudly announces he’s a Bachelor, and they all appear to be more than content with each other as company)
- Paul Weller – Wild Wood (The scary place where Badger lives, as well as the working class weasels, stoats and ferretts)
- The White Stripes – We’re Going To Be Friends (The four main characters bonding despite their differences)
The play is suitable for ages 7+ and if you’re looking for a Christmas theatre outing, it’ a great alternative to pantomimes. There are carol singing mice in it – which counts as festive in my book.
It’s on at The West Yorkshire Playhouse until 19th January 2013.