Corn Exchange,


WE are all familiar with Kenneth Grahame’s lovable story of life by the riverbank in The Wind in the Willows and which was subsequently turned into a play by A. A. Milne.

Dorchester Drama’s latest production brings the characters of Mole, Badger and Ratty to life as they wrestle with their pompous pal Toad and his crazy pastimes that land him into all sorts of trouble.

Aided in no small measure by a gorgeous gaggle of youngsters who have a great time as the cavorting gang of weasels and bunnies, the production is dominated by the antics of Toad, played by Lee Stroud who also co-directs the work along with Dee Thorne.

With Ann Ottaway as Mole, Michael Staddon as Badger and Ian Farley as Ratty, the play has plenty of assets to bring to the strong characters of the plot along with some splendid moments by Colin Elphick and Steve Twinn in the lesser roles of Alfred the Horse and the Judge.

The problem is that a sedentary pace slows the whole thing down and what should be a lively and witty comedy becomes a drawn out drama with too many words.

The role of Toad is also no easy task as the main character is usually portrayed as a flawed but likeable fool while in this production he is just irritating and not at all funny.

Nevertheless imaginative scene changes and excellent sound effects help raise the standard of a production which continues until the end of the week.