Now in its 28th year, the riverbank adventures of Ratty, Mole, Badger, Otter, Portly and Mr Toad takes place in the bucolic surrounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens. It’s a delightful romp that makes the most of the garden’s ornamental lake and green sloping lawns and is interactive entertainment from start to finish.
The Wind in the Willows goes for 1.5 hours and it was the longest show that Lady AB (aged 4) had ever been to. I wasn’t sure whether she’d be able to concentrate for that long but she was enthralled! As the performance is open air I don’t really recommend it for babies or toddlers who are likely to wander off.
Perhaps it helped that about a quarter of the way through the show everyone moved to another set around the corner so there was a chance to burn a bit of energy and stretch the legs. On stage the action was non-stop the whole time, with jokes, music and outlandish escapades to keep young and old amused.
Youngsters were encouraged to get involved to shout out loud, sing along and even tramp off into the Wild Woods looking for Portly the baby otter, while I thought a lot of the humour was aimed towards adults. Some of the actors were better able to be heard than others but there’s a lot of slapstick humour throughout the show so understanding every bit of dialogue was not essential.
After the performance the characters stayed to chat and have their photos taken.
We really enjoyed our visit to The Wind in the Willows and it’s a great introduction to the children’s literature classic. We packed a picnic rug and some snacks and dressed in gumboots and raincoats just in case, so it felt like a bit more of an adventure than the usual theatre outing.
Friday 22 December to Monday 28 January 2018
Tuesday to Saturday each week, 10:30am and 6.00pm each day (no 10:30am performance on Australia Day). Enter via Gate F on Birdwood Avenue.
Presale Tickets $25.44 (under 1s are free) or 4 tickets for $91.58 + handling fees.
Standard tickets $30.54
Bookings: 136 100, www.ticketmaster.com.au or cash sales from the on-site box office one hour prior to each performance.