Production 91 Toad of Toad Hall

Toad of Toad HallBy A.A. Milne, The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, Music composed by H. Fraser-Simpson

 

Performed on Tue 14th to Sat 18th December 1976 at The Little Theatre
In aid of The Completion of St. George's Hall Fire Precaution Regulations

 

The Cast

The Cast

Marigold Sarah Newson
Nurse Joan Kimpton
Mole Tony Kilshawe
Water Rat Peter Eckersley
Mr. Badger Peter Ashton
Toad Alex Thomson
Alfred George Clemmy
The Back Legs of Alfred Percy Pelican
Chief Weasel Martin Hoskins
Chief Ferret Andrew Bonny
Chief Stoat Simone Paxman
First Field Mouse Conrad Zimmer
Second Field Mouse Sarah Newson
Policeman George Clemmy
Usher Conrad Sherwin
Judge Bill Bennett
Phoebe Kate Sherren
Washerwoman Molly Fitzgerald
Mama Rabbit Brenda Smith
Lucy Rabbit Angela Smith
Harold Rabbit Conrad Zimmer
Barge Woman Doris Cohen
Barge Horse Nick Cavell
Ferrets, Weasels, Stoats & Squirrels Maria Brannan, Emma Colyer, Anthony Drew, Angela Hill, Sharon Hopper, Michel Johnson, Gerald Nightingale, Jessica Robinson, Louise Tazey, Kevin Weaver & Adrian White

Cast of Toad of Toad Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Previews/Reviews

Previews/Reviews

Toad of Toad Hall

Toad Comes to Deal Next Week

One of the most delightful of children’s entertainments is presented in Deal next week. The Guild Players open on Tuesday with their presentation of Toad of Toad Hall at their Little Theatre – within St. George’s Hall. The play runs until Saturday night and there is a matinee on Saturday night. This is a play by A. A. Milne and is adapted from Kenneth Grahame’s beautiful story The Wind in the Willows. H. Fraser‑Simpson composed the music. Kenneth Grahame was a Scot who became famous for his books for children. The Wind in the Willows was published in 1908 and has become a classic, belonging to that select group of children’s literature, which has a timeless appeal to adults. His animals behave like humans, while retaining their animal characteristics. Toad, it is agreed, is the most human of the animals – but has rather less charm than the more animal Mole, Rat and Mr. Badger. There is an evocative quality about Kenneth Grahame’s writing and an indefinable feeling of sadness, but in this Guild Players production there is plenty of humour and the promise of wonderment for the very young. The adaptation by A. A. Milne took place in the 1920s. Milne is a great children’s writer in his own right, whose Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner are also classics. And he is well remembered for his plays – especially Mr. Pym Passes By and The Dover Road. When Toad of Toad Hall was first presented in 1929, the cast included Nova Pilbeam and Wendy Toye. In that original production, Richard Goulden played Mole, and he is still playing the part this year, at the age of 81. Alex Thomson, who is well known for his work with The St. Leonard’s, plays toad in this production. Tony Kilshawe is Mole, Peter Ashton is Mr. Badger, and there’s a touch of glamour from Kate Sherren who is playing Phoebe. Also in the talented cast are Peter Eckersley, Bill Bennett, Conrad Sherwin, George Clemmy, Nick Cavell and Martin Hoskins. Others include Joan Kimpton, Sarah Newson, Doris Cohen and Molly Fitzgerald. The director is Gordon Crier, a retired professional Director, who moved into a delightful cottage in Duke St. a year or two ago. Gordon was an actor before joining the BBC as a radio producer in the 1930s. He found fame as the producer of Arthur Askey’s Bandwagon and introduced the nation tosome of the first catch-phrases such as Hello Playmates and the never to be forgotten Thang yew. He was a pioneer director of BBC television from Alexandra Palace. The Musical Director of Toad of Toad Hall is the accomplished Rebecca Cobb, who will present the Fraser‑Simpson score on one piano.

Tony Arnold
Published in The East Kent Mercury 9th December 1976

Cast of Toad of Toad Hall

Toad of Toad Hall Pleases Everyone!

It is always a difficult thing to entertain children. The young are so discerning. Full marks then, to The Guild Players for their superb production of Toad of Toad Hall at their Little Theatre last week. Toad of Toad Hall is a delightful adaptation of an equally delightful story. The noted dramatist used all his whimsical feeling to translate Kenneth Grahame’s immortal The Wind in the Willows. In this production, the professional expertise of Gordon Crier as Director was patently obvious from the outset. Gordon produced pure magic from the moment Marigold began using two daffodils as a telephone to talk to the imaginary animal friends. The play was further by the musical accompaniment of Rebecca Cobb, who captured H. Fraser Simpson’s score perfectly. The cast was a superb blending of the young and the old, the well‑seasoned performer and the youthful trio. Here, again, due to Gordon Crier, there was a perfect rapport. Alex Thomson was a superb Toad, boastful and yet so utterly vulnerable. His three friends made a well-balanced and utterly lovable trio. There was Tony Kilshawe as the affable Mole, Peter Ashton as the slightly pompous Badger, and Peter Eckersley was a very likeable Water Rat. Those four players, who have worked together in so many Guild Players productions, have contributed so much to good entertainment over the years. But they have probably never given quite so much pleasure in one production before - or ever enjoyed themselves so much. Other notable contributors to the success of the production were the charming Sarah Newson, Martin Hoskins, as dynamite as ever, Conrad Sherwin was a perfect clerk of the court, and Bill Bennett was a majestic judge. Kate Sherren – not seen half enough recently – was a charming Phoebe and Doris Cohen suitably vociferous as a barge woman. All in the very large cast contributed to the great success of this show and none more so than the group of the very young, who were a pleasure to watch. Also taking part was Joan Kimpton, George Clemmy, Andrew Bonney, Simone Paxton, Conrad Zimmer, Molly Fitzgerald, Brenda Smith, Angela Smith and Nick Cavell. With Maria Brannan, Emma Colyer, Anthony Drew, Angela Hill, Sharon Hopper, Michel Johnson, Gerald Nightingale, Jessica Robinson, Louise Tazey, Kevin Weaver and Adrian White.

Tony Arnold

Production Team

Production Team

Director Gordon Crier
Piano Rebecca Cobb
Front of House Alan Cresswell
Stage Director George Clemmy
Stage Manager Nick Cavell
Set Design Tony Kilshawe
Costumes Tony Kilshawe, Molly Fitzgerald, Zena Almond & Jill Ashton
Props Lorraine Stevenson
Lighting & Effects Nick Tigwell & Arthur Laffar
Buffet Vera Eckersley & Doris Taverner
Box Office Glenys Cresswell & Peggy Crier

Cast of Toad of Toad Hall