Toad of Toad Hall, Eye

Cast and crew must have been relieved when the weekend remained fine for the outdoor production of Toad of Toad Hallat Eye Castle.

By JANET CHAMBERS

Cast and crew must have been relieved when the weekend remained fine for the outdoor production of Toad of Toad Hallat Eye Castle.

Yesterday afternoon about 250 people enjoyed first-class entertainment and a picnic.

This update by Philip Goulding of the classic Wind in the Willows was ideally suited for a mixed-age audience with plenty of humour and local references.


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Directed by John Hickey, the cast of four were all newcomers to Eye but I hope they return. Their energy and enthusiasm and their hard work in frequently changing roles was admirable.

Audience participation added to the fun for the first half was staged under the spreading chestnut tree, and in the interval they moved to view the action taking place around the castle ruins.

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Props were simple – a few blocks became a car, a train, a court dock and witness stand.

Toad was played with fervour and athleticism by Ian Hallard in a costume with green flippers – a magnificent performance which inspired youngsters to emulate his leaps and jumps.

Several roles were competently undertaken by Nicholas Rose whose transfiguration from the goody Mole to the baddie Weasel was so cleverly carried out that it seemed impossible they were the same person. He also played the parts of Lord Morton-Pinkney, Trevor the engine driver and a salesman. Gordon Cooper was equally proficient in his triple roles as Badger, the bumbling PC Clampit and a jobsworth ticket collector. Julia Glass made the most of characters including Ratty, Lady Morton-Pinkney, Chloe Clampit and Stoat.

James Moriaty composed music for the occasion, and the lively tunes were all enthusiastically sung by the quartet.

t The show continues from Wednesday to Saturday July 28 in Eye Theatre.

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