As part of my duties as a Time Out Tastemaker, I got to visit the London Palladium, and see the brand new show there – The Wind in the Willows.
I used to love this book as a child, and thinking about it brought back a lot of memories that I forgot I had! The cast was impressive – Rufus Hound (Toad), Denise Welch (Mrs Otter….Denise will soon be starring in Different for Girls – an LGBT web series that I used the run the social media for) and Simon Lipkin (Rat).
The set was fairly simple, and there weren’t many set changes, but it was attractive to look at from the Dress Circle. I went with a non-theatre lover, which could’ve put another spin on my experience, but my main point would be: if you have kids, go, if you don’t, then probably don’t waste your money.Embed from Getty Images
The songs sung by the stoats and weasels were fantastic – catchy, fun and amusing, but the rest of the singing and music wasn’t very memorable. It has to be said that the second act is far better than the first, and it’s worth waiting it out for the first hour, just to get to the second act.
Rufus Hound does well as Toad, even though he’s a comedian, rather than an actor. He must’ve spent a lot of time in make-up!
Denise Welch is a breath of fresh air throughout the show – her strong Geordie accent shows no signs of disappearing, as she sings her way through Mrs Otter’s repertoire.
The theatre itself is lovely – very large, and has been home to many musicals, including Cats and I Can’t Sing (which was canned after six weeks!).