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The Wind in the Willows

“Lovably whimsical”

Performance collective Figs in Wigs applies its distinctive style of joyous, high-concept whimsy to the pantomime format in a fantastically imagined and enjoyable production of The Wind in the Willows at Cambridge Junction.

Written by Rachel Gammon, Suzanna Hurst, Sarah Moore, Rachel Porter and Alice Roots (of Figs in Wigs), the show takes the beloved characters from the Wild Wood on a space odyssey, with abundant laughs for children and adults along the way.

Toad (endearingly played by Sarah Moore) is re-imagined as a fun-loving, reckless amphibian who can’t keep herself out of trouble, especially with her arch-enemy Weasel (Rachel Gammon) prowling around. Toad’s latest craze is rocket ships, and when she blasts into space with Weasel unwittingly on board, her friends from the Riverbank must find a way to save her.

Delightfully inventive visual effects are laced throughout: a giant iPhone dials Shrew Perkins, Rabbit De Niro and Justin Beaver, who knows a “Nick” with “a magical flying vehicle”, which they can borrow to rescue Toad.

Space is sweetly conjured via Tim Spooner’s set design and Tom Parkinson’s thoughtful and bright electro-musical soundscapes, as the lovably comic trio of Badger, Ratty and Mole (respectively Suzanna Hurst, Rachel Porter and Alice Roots) fly in Nick’s sleigh, contemplating the vastness of the universe.

The plot is resolved with a single resounding joke that lands riotously with the children, while the adults are peppered throughout with ticklish theatrical ironies. Altogether, the whirling conceptual play, between micro and macrocosms – woods, rivers, small furry animals, technology and the cosmos – is deftly woven together into a deliciously alternative and modern Christmas show.

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Production Details
Production nameThe Wind in the Willows
VenueCambridge Junction
StartsDecember 11, 2019
EndsJanuary 5, 2020
Running time2hrs
AuthorKenneth Grahame
AdaptorFigs In
ComposerTom Parkinson
DramaturgIvor Macaskill
Set designerTim Spooner
Costume designerTim Spooner
Lighting designerJo Palmer
Video designerMatthew Robbins
CastAlice Roots, Rachel Gammon, Rachel Porter, Sarah Moore, Suzanna Hurst
TechnicalShanti Freed
Production managerSimon Talbot
Stage managerRuth Moore
ProducerCambridge Junction, Figs In
VerdictLovably whimsical and surprisingly cosmic adaptation of The Wind in the Willows
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