The Wind In the Willows

Theatre, Children's
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 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetGary Mitchinson (Mole) and Emma Pallant (Ratty)
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetGary Mitchinson (Mole), Derek Elroy (Badger), Edie Crowe (Jennifer Squirrel)
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetJamie Baughan (Toad) and Michael Taibi (Stoat)
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetJamie Baughan (Toad)
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetJamie Baughan (Toad)
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetMichael Taibi (Stoat)
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark DouetOliver Smith (Chief Weasel)
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark Douet
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark Douet
 (© Mark Douet)
© Mark Douet

The classic tale of messing about in boats gets a spot on festive retelling

Kingston appears to have stepped it up a notch for the festivities this year – rows of chalets leading to a Christmas market, an Alpine Village, a fantabulous tree and, the icing on the cake, this season’s offering at the Rose Theatre.

When Mole pops up on the riverbank in search of adventure he immediately befriends Ratty who, in turn, introduces him to the rest of the friendly woodland creatures. But dark deeds are afoot as the weasels and stoats prepare to wrest Toad Hall from its gullible owner, and it falls on the gang to save the day. Fast-paced, engaging, with short catchy tunes, there is no time for the little ones in the audience to get bored. They’ll be open-mouthed as boats drift one way across the stage and cars speed the other, and giggle away at Jamie Baughan’s car-obsessed Toad and his ‘poop poop’ jokes (although the adults get their share of laughs too). Timothy Bird’s simple set design is effortlessly transformed from The Riverbank to Badger’s set to Toad Hall and so on with brilliant projections. Ciaran McConville’s direction finally brings the Rose’s youth theatre to the fore, from which the likes of Kitten Rabbit, Chief Weasel, The Hedgehogs and Doris Doormouse are cast – a great move which makes the production such a success.

The Rose has blown hot and cold over the last few years but this, without doubt, is its best ever Christmas show – an absolute joy for all ages.

By: Dave Faulkner


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Average User Rating

4 / 5

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Fabulous theatre treat for the whole family! Amazing set designs and surprises on stage, as well as excellent choreographies. The play is a bit lengthy and especially the 1st half becomes tiring at some point. Songs are not something to remember after the show, but in general actors, direction, choreographies deserve congratulations. The small ones will be totally amazed!


Nostalgia is dangerous they say as it makes you long for the things that make you want to go back to a certain place where you feel all warm and giddy. Nostalgia made me go to see Wind in The Willows.

This very British but very modern production didn't disappoint. It's physical, very charming and entertaining.

Rufus Hound made a great Toad. Denish Welch was the delightful Mrs Otter. The rest of the cast were amazing too. The singing and harmonies of the 3 Swallows deserved a mention.

Definitely one to bring your young ones too. It's a play for lots of giggles, gasps, awe and utter delight!


I went to see Wind in the Willows to try and recapture my childhood and it didn't disappoint.  This is a very cute musical and is full of fun and frivolity.  There are also some moments for the adults.  If you looking for some family-friendly fun, catch this during its limited run!

Really enjoyable show. Always an uplifting experience to see the Rose's winter show as our regular Xmas family treat. This year's Wind in the Willows is a beautifully produced show. Toad is excellent - Boris Johnson meets Donald Trump. Child actors always amaze me. Wildwooder "baddies" are particularly impressive with their choreography and their sinister acting.