Enchanting, Elegant and Emotional: Wind in the Willows at Sherman Theatre.


Photo credit: Brian Tarr

Last night we went headed out in the winter darkness to see Wind in the Willows at the beautiful and welcoming Sherman Theatre in Cardiff. We’ve recently read part of the series and we were very intrigued to see it brought to life on stage.
George and Molly were all dressed up for the night and we were all really excited as found our seats in the theatre. I love the theatre at Sherman because the tiered seating is perfect; even if someone tall is in front of you, you still get the full view of the stage.

Wind in the Willows tells the tale of Mole (Jessica Murain) and his discovery of the Riverbank and Ratty (Dominic Rye), with stories involving two other famous characters, Badger (Zara Ramm) and Toad (Keiron Self). The story is fabulously portrayed and, in my opinion, modernised in such a way that it’s a bit more accessible than the original tales (of which we’ve found the language quite old fashioned- I love this, but the kids not so much just yet!). 

stage was set with a double revolving floor, staircase and trapdoor,
perfect for the visual and choreographed parts of the show. Molly was
especially excited with the different uses of the trapdoor; I love how
classic this piece of set is and it never fails to amaze me how it can
be used to create a mood or change a scene. 

The choreography and design was impeccable, with pogo sticks, beds with wheels and other prop twists creating magnificent visual scenes to move the story along. I think the attention to detail was spot on, and at times I felt I was watching an old fashioned musical on the stage; you must surely know how much I loved that feeling?!

Murain was incredibly effective on stage as Mole; her body language, tone and whole performance was absolutely stunning (can you tell she was my favourite?!) and I really loved how she interpreted the character as a whole. She was enchanting and sweet, intrigued by the world, her voice was so beautiful and she was just so easy to watch upon the stage.

Photo credit: Brian Tarr

Photo credit: Brian Tarr
Photo credit: Brian Tarr

Dominic Rye was outstanding as Ratty, with his demeanour and clever costume design it was not hard to like this character. I particularly loved his interactions with Mole in the boat on the Riverbank, there was such a sweet chemistry between them that reminded me of some of my own friendships. 

As for Toad, well he offered tonnes of comedic moments whilst Molly adored the strength and personality of Badger. I loved that Molly connected with a character in such a way, and she was super pleased to be able to meet all of the characters after the show! They were all so kind and sweet to her and George, and the night left a special mark in our hearts. 

Hannah McPake was a little gem throughout the show, adopting the role of Chief Weasel as well as hilarious Horse. She was comedy genius and her timing was spot on! I loved the humour within the production, it was clever and well timed and the whole show was truly faultless.

The performance was elegant, engaging and nostalgic, from sweet harmonies to clever choreography and set design, each scene was a constant surprise. The costumes were clever and the use of remote control cars and ingenious props left the audience laughing several times over. I also adored the music and lyrics and the focus on the animals within this world compared to us humans; this brought a tear to my eye several times during the show.

This is definitely a must-see performance, whether you’re a fan already or not, you’ll leave feeling enriched, excited and just a little bit emotional! This classic tale is told with passion, creativity and so much love…

Tickets range from £16.00-£26.00 (with other discounts available) and the performance is running from 1st-30th December, perfect for celebrating the festive season.


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