CRAIG MATHER has TEA WITH WILMA chatting about THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

You are about to star in The Wind In The Willows at the London Palladium. What is the show about?
It’s obviously based on the famous book with the same name by Kenneth Grahame, It follows four friends (Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger) through a period of one year, from spring to spring. You will have to come to the London Palladium to find out what they get up to along the way. 😉

How have you approached learning to play Mole? Have you been digging holes in the garden to get in to character?
No joke but the fiancé and I are in the process of digging our garden up. We are trying to snaz it up a bit but I can’t say that’s because I’m trying to “be a Mole”… or am I?!? I think it’s good to start by saying that we are playing human versions of our animal characters. So there are little nods to the animals we are playing. I’ve approached it like any other role: the first thing I do is try to make a character as honest as possible then, with those honest choices, I make them fit the world the character lives in, so within The Wind in the Willows “world” – larger than life.

How does it feel to be performing on one of the world’s most iconic stages, the London Palladium?

I feel lucky and grateful – to think about the people who have played that theatre blows my mind. And now I join that long list. Craziness.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the theatre industry and why?

Growing up I loved John Owen Jones. And adored his voice (still do) but as I’ve gotten older I’m more inspired by people like Leonardo DiCaprio, Brian Cranston, Damian Lewis, people like that.

If you were going to get a new pet and had to give it a musical theatre character name, what would you go for?
Not so much musical theatre but a French bulldog and call it Walt (Disney)!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?

Forgetting lines onstage has got to be one of the worse things for a performer. Every job I’ve done, it’s happened. “Brain fart” I think the technical term is.

We are living in a time where films are often being turned into stage plays and musicals. If you had to choose one, what film would you like to see adapted to the stage?
Not sure if I could be in it but I quite like the idea of ‘Hercules the Musical’. How awesome would that be?

If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what theatre role would you love to have a go at playing?
Ohhhh tough one – I’m not sure. Maybe Carole King in Beautiful. But undecided. Hard question.

Why do you think people should come and see The Wind In The Willows at the London Palladium?
Because it’s a great family show. Everyone will enjoy it from your five-year-old niece or nephew to your one-hundred-and-five-year-old granny. It’s great fun and guaranteed to leave a smile on your face as you walk out of the Palladium. Plus you get to see us all dressed like animals. Why wouldn’t you come to see that?

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma

The Wind in the Willows will run from Friday 16 June – Saturday 9 September at the London Palladium. Book tickets