Reviewed: Wind in the Willows

A show that is perfect for the whole family at Theatre by QE2

Reviewed: Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Graeme’s beloved children’s classic is by brought to life on the QE2 – and little ones will love it.

A trip to the theatre is a magical experience no matter how old you are, particularly when that theatre is onboard one of the most iconic ships in history.

The casting director of this small production – just seven actors in total - should be as celebrated as the performers themselves. Each character is perfectly personified by a stellar cast from the UK whose singing, acting and comedic timing is spot on.

Following the tale of the notorious Mr Toad whose love of motorcars lands him in trouble over and over. His home (and cars) are under threat from Chief Weasel and the Wild Wooders, and he has to turn to his friends Ratty, Mole and the wise old Badger to save him and Toad Hall.

The clever use of props – a couple of boxes on wheels serve various purposes including a boat, car and trailer – mean the stage is kept clutter-free and the backdrop is provided by clever moving graphics.

Mr Toad is fabulous. His green hair, bright clothes and sheer energy are mesmerising and his silly facial expressions and perfectly-delivered hilarious lines bring huge vibrancy to the performance.

The firm, but fair badger, has a slick of white through his hair and delivers an authoritative performance, naïve little Mole has superb characterisation while the sensible, Ratty provides a sense of calm over all the animals and brings them together.

Even the smallest audience members were gripped from the start.

The six-year-old says:
I liked Mole the best, he was very sweet and so kind to all his friends. He wanted to look after Mr Toad and keep him out of trouble, but Mr Toad wouldn’t listen. I loved Badger too, he was very serious, but at the end he got rid of all of the weasels from Toad Hall with his cool ninja moves.

The four-year-old says:
I loved Mr Toad, made me laugh so much and had green hair. His clothes were very bright and didn’t match very well, which was funny. He kept getting into trouble and wouldn’t listen to any of his friends who were trying to help him. He sang a lot of songs too and came to take some of our popcorn when he got hungry.

The charming story about friendship is vibrant, energetic and a pleasure to watch. Plus the interactive moments – such as when Mr Toad walks amongst the audience begging for snacks – had the whole audience in giggles.

Another child-friendly production is coming to Dubai - check it out, or a family trip to the cinema can be just as fun.

With one weekend left, make sure you get your tickets to mess around on the river – or Port Rashid.
Dhs150 (adults), Dhs120 (kids aged 12 and below). Oct 18-19, 10.30am and 2.30pm. QE2, Port Rashid, Deira, www.qe2.com (04 526 8888).

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