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THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS | STAGE REVIEW

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WITW_07THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS | STAGE REVIEW

4stars

 

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, Tue 5 Dec

The riverbank comes alive in this utterly magical, inventive adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows. In recent years the Sherman Theatre’s Christmas shows have been a breath of fresh air in the Cardiff theatre scene, taking well-known childhood folk tales and stories and giving them a magical twist. The Borrowers, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and Arabian Nights have all been wonderful productions.

Set in and around Toad’s decadent yet dilapidated manor house, the world that Simon Kenny has created through his set design is so imaginative and throws the audience into wild woods. Accompanying the wonderful set, Conor Mitchell’s score is performed on multiple instruments by the cast and music director Gareth Wyn Griffiths, which surprisingly elevates the playful atmosphere of the show.

Keiron Self as Toad was definitely a highlight of the show. His big performance fills the theatre with an eccentricity that pulls laughs and chuckles from everyone in the audience. The comedic set pieces all bring a smile to your face, especially the scene with the bargee: I won’t spoil anything, suffice to say it includes Toad, a washerwoman’s dress and a hilariously high-pitched Welsh accent.

The other leads can’t be left out, however. Jessica Murrain, as a very bright-eyed Mole, gives the show a quaint charm that carries you through the great wild woodland adventures. Both Zara Ramm’s strong and wise Badger and Dominic Rye as the humble Rat are spot on. The real strength of the show is how the four leads play off each other and how they make you really care for them.

The Wind In The Willows is a perfect night out with family: from little ones to your grandparents, everyone will have a massive smile on their face by the end of the show. If you’re considering going to a panto or nativity this year, give it a skip and head to the Sherman Theatre.

words JAYDON MARTIN

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