The Wind in the Willows opened at the London Palladium last night and there has been an interesting divide in opinions between ‘Critics’ and ‘Bloggers’ when it comes to opinions on the show.
The Stage, The Evening Standard, The Telegraph and The Times all gave it just 2* and Whats On Stage and the Guardian gave it only marginally more at 3*. I gave it 4* for westendwilma.com and so was surprised to see such negativity about it online. The beauty of theatre is that everyone sees things differently and that’s great. My opinion often differs from other reviews but I just write honesty my own opinion. But I was surprised at the reaction to this show.
What was interesting, was doing a quick Twitter search for other reviews of The Wind In The Willows (to see if anyone agreed with me that is wasn’t awful) and finding that whilst the professional critics panned the show, the bloggers seem to have embraced it giving overwhelmingly 4* and 5* reviews.
Rewrite This Story
“The Wind in the Willows is a perfectly fun, family show. It’s not a theatrical masterpiece but it’s a cute, heartwarming fable that’s sweet enough for both children and adults to enjoy.”
“The Wind in the Willows brings a family favourite vividly to life while remaining faithful to the original and it’s refreshing to hear a real mix of regional accents together on a London stage. The score and staging combined with on stage chemistry makes this a production sure to be a hit with audiences, whatever their age and it would be advisable to secure tickets…fast!”
West End Theatre Guide
“This production is a heart-warming and enchanting tale of friendship – an uplifting, timeless masterpiece which is suitable and enjoyable for all ages. Despite being published over a century ago, in 1908, The Wind in the Willows continues to charm and captivate audiences to this day.”
Love London Love Culture
“Overall, putting everything together this feels like a proper and faithful vision of Grahame’s work that has plenty to offer those who know the book and for those coming into it completely new. It is gentle and endearing entertainment, perfect viewing for the summer months.”
West End Wilma
“The Wind In The Willows is a lot of fun. It nicely bridges the gap between children’s shows and adult shows, providing something for older children and their families to enjoy. There are some beautiful songs written by composing duo Stiles and Drewe and the colourful set design and animal costumes are nicely done with great effect. This may not be the greatest story ever told but it is a well loved classic that has been beautifully brought to life on stage. You’d be mad to miss it this Summer at the London Palladium.”
Break A Leg
“If you’ve never seen Wind In the Willows, you couldn’t wish for a more zany, exuberant version to introduce you to the classic story. Enough of the original tale remains while the new take on the masterpiece adds a new dimension which in turn transforms this glorious show into a masterpiece in its own right. Grab a ticket now, you’ll feel poop pooped if you don’t!”
The Sweet London Life
“There is something for everyone in Rachel Kavanaugh’s production with enough slapstick for the little ones, teamed with an awe-inspiring set design from Peter McKintosh and an additional element of sarcasm (particularly from the excellent Simon Lipkin as Ratty) to entertain the more pessimistic theatregoers.”