Stories are a very special sort of magic with some so special that every child simply must know them; Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in The Willows sits firmly within that category. So, we were delighted that our very own Mrs Luckett chose this wonderful tale to adapt for the stage for the summer Prep School production.
With a cast of 33 pupils in Year 6, the script shared out the characters between four gentle Moles, four adventurous Rattys, two wise Badgers and three larger-than-life Toads. Additionally, there were endearing hedgehogs, otters and a rabbit, not to mention the field mice narrators, two policemen, three court officials, the gaoler and his daughter. But there is so much more to a whole school performance than the highly talented principals. The production relied upon each individual member of the cast, which included our Reception and Year 1 children who danced a beautiful ballet as the River Birds to the music of Saint-Saens, Year 2 followed with a toe-tapping and complex country dance to the music of Old Tom and the Wild Wooder, Year 3 pupils terrified Mole with their fiendishly interpretive movement to Danse Macabre. Year 4 tangoed their way to Toad Hall where they joined with Year 5 who were partying their way through an utterly charming and exquisitely executed Charleston.
In the closing moments, pupils were encouraged to cherish the happiest days of their lives, and to learn from Badger how to be a ready friend and adviser, knowing when to speak, when to listen and when to offer the unfailing hand of friendship whenever the wind blows in the willows.