The Wind in the Willows – Opening Night in the West End

We were incredibly lucky recently to have bagged an invite to a very exciting event…. it was the opening night of a brand new West End Musical… The Wind in the Willows!

I decided to take my daughter along and we’d been looking forward to it ever since we’d been invited… it was going to be a late finish so I didn’t take my twins along as I was worried about bedtime with school the next day… but after watching it I REALLY wish I’d taken them because it was absolutely brilliant!

We loved it so much and I know my boys would’ve loved it too! But maybe it’s a blessing because this means I will have to go and see it again sometime very soon ;)

When we arrived at The London Palladium, even though I knew it was opening night, I had no idea it was going to be a full on red carpet event! There had been previews all week so I thought maybe all the press would’ve already been… but no.. they were totally out in force! There was a sea of photographers and film crews at one end, with a red carpet walkway at the other where one celebrity after another were stepping out of flash cars, dressed to impress and posing for photo’s! It was all very exciting!

Here’s a video taken from The Wind in the Willows website giving an insight into the magnitude of the event, plus a little glimpse at some of the action from the show….

I have to admit to being a little star struck, especially when we saw the writer of the show, Julian Fellowes, who created and wrote the whole Downton Abbey sensation! He was literally standing in front of me at one point. I would’ve loved a ‘selfie’ with him, along with each and every one of the guests, but luckily I had my very sensible daughter with me to reign me in a bit!

In the row directly behind us in the auditorium was actor Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts in Coronation Street back in the day! He was with his wife and daughters and they were all super lovely, chatting to us before the show started. I’d wanted to buy some chocolate for my daughter but the kiosk had closed, so Kevin offered up some of the chocolate his kids had. So generous and sweet!

It was a full house by the time the show was about to start and we absolutely couldn’t wait!

the wind in the willows

Right from the start you warm to the characters. We are first introduced to Mole (Craig Mather) and Ratty (Simon Lipkin) who have a very cute friendship. Mole wants to go off and explore the forest but he is rather naive so Ratty reluctantly offers to go with him! Then we meet Mrs Otter, played by the wonderful Denise Welsh, who is always looking for her wayward daughter! Denise keeps her lovely North East twang for this role and she was definitely one of the standout performers for me! Toad (Rufus Hound) explodes into the stage in true Toad’s extravagant fashion… I think he was everyone’s favourite.. funny, larger than life and colourful. Gary Wilmot as Badger was wonderful… he is a musical theatre legend! But I have to admit to being completely drawn into the character of baddie Chief Weasel played by the brilliant Neil McDermott…. I couldn’t take my eyes off him! His portrayal was flawless…. sneaky and naughty… his facial expressions, singing and dancing were absolutely on point! Loved him!

the wind in the willows london palladium

The Wind in the Willows is a riotous comedy which follows the impulsive Mr Toad whose insatiable need for speed lands him in serious trouble. With his beloved home under threat from the notorious Chief Weasel and his gang of sinister Wild Wooders, Toad must attempt a daring escape leading to a series of misadventures and a heroic battle to recapture Toad Hall.

Featuring eye-poppingly beautiful design, exuberant choreography and a gloriously British score, The Wind in the Willows brings an explosion of anarchy, humour and heart to the famous London Palladium!

the wind in the willows musical

the wind in the willows london palladium

the wind in the willows

The Wind in the Willows is only running for a short time so please make sure you catch it over the summer. It’s a perfect show for families and children will absolutely love it!

To find out more visit the website for tickets!

 

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