A brand-new adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s much loved The Wind in the Willows by award-winning children’s author Piers Torday (The Last Wild series) comes to Wilton’s this Christmas.
Set in modern-day London the story starts in Hyde Park during the springtime, with the adventure unfolding as it moves along the Thames and through the seasons, ending back at Mole’s home in time for Christmas and carols – but only if Toad Hall can be saved from the weasels and their ferret and stoat accomplices…
Piers Torday triumphed with his previous adaptations of classic novels for Wilton’s: A Box of Delights, Christmas Carol and The Child in the Snow, this year teaming up with Director Elizabeth Freestone and Designer Tom Piper, with original songs by Piers Torday and Chris Warner, lighting by Zoe Spurr, movement by Emma Brunton and puppets by Samuel Wyer.
This is what Piers Torday has to say about the show.
Q: You have had great success with previous adaptations – what made you choose The Wind in The Willows for the next adaptation project?
Piers: It’s the first book I can remember reading (or being read to me) and inspired a lifetime love of both reading and talking animals, as it has for so many. The book’s concern for the natural world along with lashings of wit, charm and just a dash of mystery felt like what we all needed, frankly…
Q: Can you tell us about the development of The Wind in The W̵i̵l̵l̵o̵w̵s̵ Wiltons?
Piers: We’ve brought the wonderful story up to date: setting it in the Thames and London riverside of 2022, balanced out the genders and acknowledged the climate crisis, and given the episodic structure a dramatic narrative that – of course – ends at Christmas!
Q: Do you have a favourite character or song in the show?
Piers: There hasn’t been enough of Otter in previous adaptations, and let’s just say, when the song he sings to introduce himself came into my head – it was the only one he could sing…
Q: What is at the heart of this new adaptation?
Piers: Friendship. The incredible unlikely friendship between four of the best known and most loved talking animals in history, who love each other not just despite their faults – but because of them. It is a hugely soothing story for our troubled times.
Q: Why should everyone get along to see the show?
Piers: For one very simple reason. At the end of another crazy year, the enchanting world of Wind in the Willows – and why we decided to stage it – brings joy. There is humour, adventure and mystery. We have puppets, songs and dance, and of course, picnics…
Darrell Brockis as Toad
Melody Brown as Badger
Tom Chapman as Weasel
Paula James as Duck
Corey Montague-Sholay as Mole
Chris Nayak as Otter
Rosie Wyatt as Rat
Writer – Piers Torday
Director – Elizabeth Freestone
Designer – Tom Piper
Lighting Designer – Zoe Spurr
Composer and Sound Designer – Chris Warner
Movement Director – Emma Brunton
Puppetry Designer – Samuel Wyer
Casting Director – Helena Palmer
Assistant Director – Segen Yosef
Recommended age 5+
The Wind in The W̵i̵l̵l̵o̵w̵s̵ Wiltons?
Booking from 24th November through to 31st December 2022