Crowds joined the beloved childhood characters of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad down by the riverside in a new production at Oundle School’s Stahl Theatre.
Originally penned by Kenneth Grahame, the show was directed by Naomi Jones, who said: “Production directors Jo Henderson and Hattie Hopper deserve much praise for mounting a production which demonstrated such technical accomplishment and precision without losing any of its childish wonderment and joy.
“Finding a script which allows a number of youngsters to shine is a real challenge, but in Willis Hall’s beautiful adaptation these moments were plentiful and it was great to see the talent we have to enjoy in the future. This musical element, together with the dazzling set, costume and lighting made the production a real theatrical treat for all the family.”
The play had car chases, bobbing policemen, a boat and some Charleston-ing weasels and the sum of these anarchic parts created one delightful whole.
The young cast was made up of Charlie Dickenson (13), who played the loveable toad, guiding the audience through the energetic tale with great energy; Luke Seymour (12), as the wise and temperate Badger, Mima Rock (13) as Mole, and Tom Allison (12) as the charismatic and charming Ratty, creating the ‘awesome foursome’.
The onstage pianists, James Thomas and pupil Alex Hill (15) expertly supported some uplifting musical numbers performed by the company.
The 264-seat theatre is in the heart of Oundle town, and prides itself on producing high quality school productions alongside some of the country’s leading touring theatre companies.