I was lucky enough to be invited along to The Mayflower in Southampton on Friday along with the Soton Bloggers to watch the classic tale of The Wind in the Willows* making its debut on the stage. I am a real theatre fan and huge lover of musicals, so I was pretty excited to see one of the classic tales from my childhood in a way I have never seen it before. I was a little bit unsure of how they would be able to recreate the story on stage, with actors playing animals. But I have to say I left The Mayflower with a big smile on my face and was pleasantly surprised.
Julian Fellowes has done a fabulous job with Kenneth Grahame’s much loved classic. Who knew an old classic like this could be revamped and turned into a musical adventure on the stage, packed with fun and excitement.
I have to say the actors were absolutely outstanding, playing a toad can’t be easy and I have to say Rufus Hound did a brilliant job. He was mad, and quirky – not the best singer in the world but that made his character and I loved him all the more. I equally loved the Weasels and the rest of the Wild Wooders gang. They played the baddies so well, as well as adding some excellent humour along the way. The bond between Ratty and mole was so endearing – a real bromance in the animal world. I was worried as to how they would be able to portray the story being animals living in the woods and along the river, but every little detail in their acting and movements brought it all together and made it so much more believable. The costumes were fantastic and really helped to give each of the animals different personalities. I absolutely LOVED the songs and dances, as a huge musical fan this was important, and the show did not disappoint. I just wanted to get up there and dance. The stage was equally as brilliant, transforming you from the theatre stage to a beautiful woodland, rowing along the river, to toads house and even into the deep dark woods where the Wild Wooders live. They really make you feel as if you are going on the journey with them! The running theme of friendship throughout really warms your heart. Its a fabulous, feel good, family fun show!
Its currently touring around before it makes its was to the West Ends London Palladium, in June next year. Its only in southampton until the 20th of November so if you can I would highly recommend seeing it!
(Photos from the mayflower)
*I was invited along to see the show to review this by the Mayflower. All thoughts an opinions are true and my own.