Star rating – 8/10
The Library Theatre has yet again managed to come up with a quality Christmas entertainment for all the family in its current production of Alan Bennett’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’ at the Lowry. It is not a classically Christmas tale, but that doesn’t matter as the lovely riverbank tale of Toad, Ratty and Mole has been updated by director Chris Honer with some great touches.
My own favourite was Albert the Brummie horse, played by Jason Furnival, who works for that loveable rogue Toad, and loves to complain about the smallest everyday detail in a highly amusing manner. The dastardly Weasels are great, dressed as Mafioso types in long camel coats, but in character seem more like a comment on elements of the gutter press. Very topical.
But as always, the show is stolen by Toad, with his outrageous hobbies and proud snobbery. Paul Barnhill plays him with more than a passing resemblance to a certain Boris Johnson. This is great, harmless, funny, and topical all round festive entertainment at its best.