Beginning this Friday, The Alban Arts Center will present a stage adaptation of the classic children’s tale “Wind in the Willows” (book by Kenneth Grahame, adapted for the stage by Alan Bennett). This story follows the adventures of Mr. Toad, Badger, Rat and Mole and their whimsical escapades in the Wild Wood and Wide World.
If you are not familiar with the story, Mole has ventured forth from his humble hole in the ground and has been befriended by Rat and Badger. This story tells of their adventures with Mr. Toad. Everyone has a friend like Mr. Toad, a trust-fund baby who always gets into trouble and either charms or buys his way out of it. You know, like your buddy from South Hills.
Anyway, the Alban production is wickedly funny, yet appropriate for all ages. The cast is terrific and the set is amazing. I shot some footage during a rehearsal last week, and I hope to have it ready early in the week so you can get an idea of what to expect.
In the meantime, our Sunday Evening Video is the first part of an animated take on this children’s classic. This 1983 stop-motion version by Cosgrove-Hall is a beloved treasure in the UK, and I’m presenting it here just to show how many cool interpretations of this story there are. You can find the rest of this version floating around in various clips on YouTube.
After the jump you’ll find all the details of the Alban’s production.
Alban Arts Center
65 Olde Main Street
St. Albans WV 25177
Dates and Times:
August 23, 24 & 30, 31 at 8pm
Sunday Matinees: August 25, September 1 at 2pm
$15 for Adults, and $10 for Seniors/Children 12 and under. Seating is limited, reservations highly recommended. Please call the office at 304-721-8896
Directed by Adam Bryan. In the title roles; Daniel Calwell as Toad, John Johnson as Badger, Loren Allen as Rat and Kyle Casto as Mole. With the talents of Anna Felty, Fiona Sullivan, Angel Gandee, Mackenzie Southall, Caden Chapman, Heather Hicks, Emma Leary, Lauren Casto, Ashley Miller, Emma Robinson, Ila Ilavezhil, Ashley McCann, Faith Bromlett, Asa Lyvers, Miriam Hill, Jaxzen Allen, Meredith Shuff, Ivy Caplinger, Nikki Williams, Olivia Mccoy, Ostin Williams, Faith Medley, Anna Shuff, BB Clark, Jillian Southall, Aria Cowder, Bri Murphy, Rubin Shirley, Izzy Hewitt, Bohdi Allen, Elijah Kiser, Logan Roberts, Kaylee Anderson, Wyatt Hanna, Hailey Lambert, Linda O’Neill, Marlette Carter, Jessica Smith, Tabatha Slater and Libby Londeree.
Throwing off spring cleaning, little Mole escapes from his hole and meets the dapper and easygoing Rat along the Riverbank one fine day. They soon hit it off becoming friends, and meet many of the animals going about their business on the riverbank, including rabbits and hedgehogs and otters, but the most notorious of all is Mr. Toad of Toad Hall. Mr. Toad is a most impulsive and rich toad who cannot help himself indulging the latest fad whether it be boating or caravanning. Invited by Toad to go in a gypsy wagon, Rat and Mole witness the birth of Toad’s latest craze when a new motor car runs the wagon off the road and Toad’s immediate obsession with the horn-tooting fast cars leads him to buy, and wreck, many new automobiles.
Mole, feeling adventurous one day, takes a stroll through the Wild Wood, adjoining the Riverbank and is confronted and beaten by the nefarious weasels and ferrets. Rescued by Rat, they take refuge in the home of the gruff and grumbling Badger. Meanwhile, Toad, who has wrecked yet another motor car, is confronted by Badger, Rat and Mole and is locked up in Toad Hall until he can give up his wasteful ways. Toad escapes their vigilance and STEALS another car, ultimately driving it into a pond. Arrested and infuriated with Toad’s nonsense, the Judge sentences Toad to 20 years in prison, until a guard’s daughter helps him to escape dressed as a washerwoman.
Badger, Rat and Mole have been keeping an eye on Toad Hall, which has been overrun by the weasels, stoats and ferrets and meet Toad, who has had many adventures disguised as a washerwoman, when he tries to return home. They hatch and execute a daring plan to drive the Wild Wood weasels from Toad Hall, using a secret passage that only Badger knows about, catching and thrashing the weasels they save Toad Hall, and Toad is acquitted. The friends celebrate, and Toad has, hopefully, learned his lesson.
Approximate run time 1 hour 45 min.
Show is for appropriate for all ages. Due to limited seating reservations are highly encouraged, please call 304-721-8896 visit www.albanartscenter.com