Distinctive amateur drama
in Northampton since 1932
Registered Charity No. 294848
The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame, dramatised by Alan Bennett
Cast & Crew
Narrator Bernard Ballion
Mole Patricia Coleman or Denise Swann
Rat Andrew Rowe
Toad John Myhill
Badger Richard Jordan
Otter Owen Warr
Portly Ambrose Rost
Albert Rob Kendall
Rabbits Natalie Shellard, Jonathan Whalley
Hedgehogs Jane Vaughan, Cameron Minney, Joey Ballion
Squirrels Elaine Ashton, Lynette Ashton
Field Mice Jesse Ballion, Jacob Shellard, Adam Shellard, Oliver Knight, Doreen Wright
Weasels Andrew Nettleship, Ambrose Rost, Elizabeth Allan, Robyn Whalley, Nigel Crouch
Magistrate Tony Janney
Fox Derek Banyard
Clerk of the Court Sue Howes
Policeman Robert Vaughan
Gaoler’s daughter Hannah Collier
Washer Woman Sue Howes
Train Driver Robert Vaughan
Barge Woman Suzanne Richards
Gypsy Elizabeth Allan
Salesman Derek Banyard
Rupert Motorist Jonathan Whalley
Monica Motorist Natalie Shellard
Director Derek Banyard
Stage Manager Denise Swann
Assistant Stage Managers Bernadette Wood, Kate Billingham
Lighting & Sound Richard Walker, Robert Vaughan, The Works
Continuity Jean Edwards
Music Matthew Churcher, Rebecca Bell, Hannah Bell
Set Construction Mark Mortimer, Ken Marriott
Costume Masque Theatre, The Works
Additional Costumes Pauline Sandwith
Publicity & Photos Ian Clarke
Programme Martin Borley-Cox
Front of House Masque Theatre members
Programme Sellers Masque Youth Theatre members
Rob Kendall as Albert and John Myhill as Toad. Photo by Ian Clarke
Production No. 374
Derek Banyard, director
Down by the riverbank something stirs... those peering through a crack in the wall into Derek Banyard's garden will have noticed much fun and frivolity as rehearsals for the second of this year's summer shows at Abington Park get into full swing.
Alan Bennett's adaptation of Kenneth Graham's Wind in the Willows is a production NOT be missed! In the space of just 24 hours, Derek and the rest of the Masque team will be turning the courtyard of Abington Park Museum from the 16th Century Sicily of A Comedy Errors into a quaint riverbank setting as they leap forward in time and space.
There are caravans, cars trains and barges... there are weasels, stoats, foxes and otters... there are rabbits, carthorses and hedgehogs... and of course there's Toad, played by Masque newcomer John Myhill, who was born to play the role, and I'm not taking the mickey!
Together with his pals Ratty, Moley and Badger, brought to life by Andy Rowe, Patricia Coleman and Richard Jordan respectively.
A stunning setting will leave the audience wondering how the courtyard is bigger on the inside than the outside as Toad Hall, Badger's house, Moley's house and the Wild Woods are created along with the riverbank.
The play marks a brave move by Masque Theatre to try something different this summer with the hope that everyone will come and spend a summer evening down among the rose gardens. Bring your children and grandchildren, bring a picnic for a truly memorable summer evening... and listen carefully... can you hear that...? It's the wind in the willows...
2 - 7 August 2010 at 7.30pm
In the open air in the Courtyard, Abington Park Museum, Northampton
Page last updated: 14/04/2012 Masque Theatre © 2012
by Greta Hendy
When the Northampton Drama Club did Toad of Toad Hall in 1944 as part of Northampton’s Holidays at Home, I was still 10 years off of becoming a member. But I did get to know quite a few of the cast. Whilst queuing to see The Wind in the Willows, I met one of the 1944 animals: Catherine Huckle, daughter of founder member Horace Smith. She spoke of being roped in and of playing at various park venues.
No known photos exist but I suspect that scenery and costumes were sparce. Not so this year with Derek Banyard’s caravan, car, train, two boats, plus the homes of Badger, Ratty, Mole, the prison and the gypsy camp. Congratulations to Derek and Mark Mortimer. Also to the backstage crew - led by Denise Swann with gluttons for punishment Mark and Clare Brittain and Bernie Wood. So often taken for granted, this crew did a great job.
The main quartet were well played. Badger’s (Richard Jordan) Churchillian pronouncements, Ratty (Andrew Rowe) patient and pedantic, Toad’s (John Myhill) bombastic ways. I did like the way Patricia Coleman portrayed Mole, particularly her hands (paws) always spread as if ready to scrape away earth; a lovely attention to detail.
Especial thanks and praise must be given to Denise Swann. Not only did she stage manage but learnt the part of Mole to give a very good performance on Saturday when Patricia was unable to perform.
I also liked the subtle representation of the animals, just the ears or a tail; also the make-up by Tamsyn Payne.
Over 600 grandparents, mums and dads and a lot of children came and all appeared to really enjoy themselves.
I now have to mention our upstanding chairman, chairman of 78 Derngate and pillar of the community Rob Kendall. I don’t think I will ever forget his portrayal of Albert the horse. His droll delivery in a Brummie accent, his posture, his costume full of horse accoutrements including brasses and the way he stood still except for a gentle pawing of the ground. Rob, it was BRILL.
Well done everyone.
P.S. Also a mention about the museum staff. They were so friendly and helpful, especially the lass who provided paper towels and helped mop up the wet seats during The Comedy of Errors.