It is not unusual to hear a child gasp at
a clever stage trick, but far more unusual
to hear an audience of adults do the same. Yet that is what happened again and again during this ingenious production, which cleverly utilises a range of narrative tools – words, music, movement and stagecraft – to tell a beloved tale clearly and ingeniously. Eleven years on, Will Tuckett’s production has lost none of its power to enchant.
Kenneth Grahame’s seminal work doesn’t necessarily lend itself to drama, constructed
as it is around a series of artless vignettes. This problem is largely solved in the stage adaptation by the introduction of a unifying factor: Grahame himself, a role now inhabited by fellow national treasure Tony Robinson. A cunning plan indeed. The first half still lacks momentum on occasion, but there are plenty of distractions to fill its absence.