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By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Review: The Wind in the Willows at Moseley Park and Pool
Directed by Lucy Bird, Written by Kenneth Grahame, adapted by George Attwell Gerhards
The classic adventures of Mole (Charis McRoberts), Rat (Carys Jones), Toad (George Attwell Gerhards) and Badger (Lucy Bird) are packed into a sixty minute outdoor tale as part of Little But Live Festival 2021 at Moseley Park and Pool.
Little But Live is an outdoor festival, now in its second year and this Paperback Theatre homegrown production is the most family friendly production this group has put on, and they seemed to love being in it as much as the audience.
Its great hearing local midlands accents within this story which heavily focuses on class and classism, Toad can’t be bothered to learn the names of anyone below him, Badger relies on ancestry and nobility to try and guilt Toad and Rat doesn’t particularly consider that work is for him.
The set and props all have a repurposed items feel to them, from the mop head used as a wig to the sticky tape on a hat to make badgers stripes, the stage is made from pallets and the roof of the sage from tied long reeds. My favourite moment was the use of an electric car/buggy to represent Toad’s fuel guzzling car.
The narration of the story is split between all of the performers who even narrate their own characters at different moments, this is a fun way of forwarding the plot without confusing younger people. They also provide their own soundtrack featuring improvised tracks including 9 to 5 and The Benny Hill Theme.
At just over one hour this might be a little long for some young people, especially those who haven’t been that used to sitting still on grass for periods of time.
Both fun, funny and utterly charming, The Wind and the Willows is part of Little But Live Festival 2021 at Moseley Park and Pool until Sunday 19th September. All tickets are priced at £5. Book here: paperbacktheatre.com/little-but-live-programme-2021
Whilst the outdoor theatre space is step free, the slope down does progressively get steeper and is about three minutes walk from the main road, I didn’t spot access toilets but the individual toilets are up a step up a slope.
Moseley Park and Pool is on the 1/35/50 bus route from Birmingham. Find out more about the park here: moseleypark.co.uk