Now officially open at the London Palladium, this new musical based on the beloved classic British story is perfect viewing over the summer months – here’s Love London Love Culture’s top five reasons to see this new production: 

Simon Lipkin (c)Darren Bell.

1. The story is brought wonderfully to life: thanks to Julian Fellowes’s glorious book, the musical production really captures the British spirit of the book as well as the bond between the three main characters and is truly lovely to watch unfold. Some might complain that perhaps the story moves slightly too fast and perhaps is a little bit basic, but the simplicity of it all actually enhances its charm.

Gary Wilmot, Simon Lipkin and Craig Mather. (c) Darren Bell.

2.  The music: it might be slightly understated but Anthony Drewe and George Stiles have created some lovely songs that work well in the context of the musical including ‘Spring’ and ‘Messing About in a Boat’ . Both numbers really capture the British countryside and set the tone for the musical as well. Meanwhile ‘The Hedgehog’s Nightmare’ brings a smile to the face and Mole singing to ‘A Place to Come Back To’ is a really heartfelt number – there is something for everyone.

The Wind in the Willows Company. (c) Darren Bell.

3. The great friendship between Mole (Craig Mather) and Ratty (Simon Lipkin): one of the main strengths of this production is Craig Mather and Simon Lipkin’s performances both as individuals and together that give the musical its grounding and believability. Craig Mather offers Mole as a brave and loyal character in a graceful and charming manner, while Simon Lipkin’s performance as Ratty, reveals a more restrained character but is still willing to fight for what is right, delivered with humour and charisma.

Craig Mather (c) Darren Bell.

4. The costumes: Peter McKintosh’s costumes don’t go over the top in trying to make the cast look like animals but rather reimagines what they would like as humans which is an interesting and more effective way of bringing the characters to life. By relying more on the audience’s imagination and not making it too obvious it makes it easier to get absorbed into the story.

(c)Darren Bell

5. Pure fun for all of the family: it is a fun and entertaining show that will capture younger audience’s imagination but for the grown ups it is a chance to revisit a classic story that they will enjoy seeing unfold live on stage.

The Wind in the Willows is now playing at the London Palladium. To book tickets visit: Theatre.comTheatre Tickets Theatre.comUK , Theatre and See