Fringe Box



GSC’s Wind in the Willows – Online

Published on: 18 May, 2020
Updated on: 17 May, 2020

by Alice Fowler

Missing live theatre? Bored children to entertain? The Guildford Shakespeare Company may have the answer, with an innovative online production of children’s classic, The Wind in the Willows. 

The Wind in the Willows: Re-Imagined is produced in collaboration with Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and the Jermyn Street Theatre in London.

It follows GSC’s recent success with a series of sell-out online Murder Mystery ‘parties’, created and delivered by its in-house team.

The 75-minute show will include elements of audience participation, ensuring the immersive style of GSC’s work continues. The production builds on its 2015 adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s enduring classic – which took place at Watts Gallery and featured a full-size 1920 Humber motor car. The script, adapted by Ant Stones, is being revised for six actors and will be directed by Tom Littler, who directed the original production.

GSC co-founder will play Toad.

GSC Co-Founder Matt Pinches said: “We’re a site-responsive theatre company, so given the current change in our theatrical landscape, we’re excited to be exploring this new ‘site-specific’ context of live theatre online.

“Our Murder Mystery audiences clearly relished not only looking forward to a social event and connecting with friends and family as in a real theatre, but also expressed a great desire to support their local arts organisations.”

Joanna Read, director and chief executive of the Yvonne Arnaud, agreed, saying: “The Yvonne Arnaud and GSC have worked together on many productions over the years. Collaboration is more important now than ever, and we are sure our audiences will welcome this adventurous production.”

Seven performances of Grahame’s 1908 story will take place, timed to suit families and home-schooling. Tickets cost £20 per device (with a maximum of two people per device) and are strictly limited.

Director Tom Littler, also artistic director of Jermyn Street Theatre, said: “Kenneth Grahame’s enchanting story is about the gifts of friendship. Many of us use Zoom for a meeting or a family birthday, but now we’re going to transform it into a place of magic, wonder, and some very naughty weasels. I can’t wait to get back to the Wild Wood and the river bank.”

The cast includes Sally Cheng, Robert, Mountford, Johanne Murdock, Chris Porter and GSC actor-managers Sarah Gobran and Matt Pinches as Fox and Mr Toad.

The Wind in the Willows: Re-Imagined takes place from June 4-7 2020.

Tickets go on sale from 10am on Monday May 18.

For booking see

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