With less than two weeks until The Wind in the Willows performs at the ADC Theatre, we spoke to the show's directors, Maddie Forrester and Helen McCallum, about what makes this show a classic.
What makes the story of The Wind in the Willows so timeless?
Its emphasis on a group of friends inhabiting their own little world: each with their own distinctive characteristics amplified by the fact that they are human in animal form. Messing about by a river is a quintessentially English pleasure: and one that we are lucky enough to experience in Cambridge!
Alan Bennett's script, based on Kenneth Grahame's novel, is quirky, witty and fun, and itself a timeless classic that will be performed with joy for many decades to come.
What can we expect to see in this production?
A slide, a swing, a train, a boat, a barge, a caravan and several motor cars all feature: brought to you through a mix of props, mime and physical theatre. Special effects will also feature: watch this space!
Music is incredibly important to the show, and we will be using several of the pieces created for the National Theatre version, alongside some delightful original songs.
How are you working in the rehearsal room to bring all the animals in the story to life?
The cast of humans are working on animal characteristics, with the six ensemble players changing from squirrel to stoat to hedgehog to human. It is an acting challenge and one that requires physical agility and creative movement, as well as all the usual characterisation and acting pizzazz.
The show is full of chases and fast-paced dialogue, and we hope a versatile and energetic cast will translate into a fun show for everyone.
The Wind in the Willows is being performed at the ADC Theatre between Tuesday 10th and Saturday 14th December