Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Thursday, 1 January 2015
The Wind in the Willows, 31 Dec 2014 ****
"GET OUT OF OUR PICNIC!" Adapted from Kenneth Grahame by Glenn Elston Australian Shakespeare Company Botanical Gardens, Gate F entry, until 24 Jan 2015 Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars: ****
Review also published in Herald Sun
after Sun 4 Jan 2015.
Sorry for delay in upload here but I've been away at the beach!
My favourite line from this show was the kid yelling, "Get out of our picnic!" Gold. KH
Yes, it’s that time of year
again. The Amazing Mr. Toad and his bonny, boisterous and belligerent pals are back in the
Botanical Gardens to play The Wind in The Willows for littlies and biggies
summer’s season marks the 28th year
of Glenn Elston’s outdoor production adapted from Kenneth Grahame’s original, very British book for children.
of the Willows cast, Roscoe Mathers, invests Head Chief Rabbit with his wry
humour, musical skill and easy, engaging manner as MC and chief jokester.
Rabbit also blatantly snaffles snacks from picnic baskets causing one
protective child to holler, “Get out of our picnic!”
children giggle and howl at the characters’ mad antics, go on an adventure with
Head Chief Rabbit, Ratty and Mole, then join a dangerous mission with the Rat
Pack and Badger Patrol to rescue little, lost Portly the Otter from the Wild
participate enthusiastically, calling out, “He’s behind you!” and singing
lyrics such as, “Waggle your ears, wiggle your nose,” or the inimitable “Quack
a new Weasel in town this year and it’s Paul Morris playing a gloriously camp,
louche and simpering Weasel instead of the oafish thug of previous years.
Hawke is cheerily Vaudevillian as the goofily conceited, entitled and twitty
Mr. Toad while Leigh Piper is a warm-voiced and confident presence as the
(Hondo) Honromatidis is vocally commanding as Otter and entertaining as the
bellicose Policeman and Judge, while Elisha Field is cute as his son, Portly.
Noble’s Badger is suitably daffy and long-winded and Chloe Bruer-Jones is perky
as the compulsive-obsessive cleaner, Mole.
Willows is now an Elston family affair, with
this production being directed by Otis Elston, Glenn’s
son, who played Portly Otter when he was a child, and his production will no
doubt tighten up as the season runs.
Summer shows are a hoot for
families so take the kids to Willows, then join the
grown-ups on the other side of the Gardens to enjoy the outdoor Shakespeare
later at night.