• Catherine Flutsch

The Wind in the Willows: Creation Theatre

Creation Theatre, The Wind in the Willows, 24 July - 8 August. Book Creation Theatre tickets here. Outdoors and socially distanced. Special provisions for extremely vulnerable people.


[Disclosure of Interest: I am thrilled to be a Trustee of Creation Theatre company. Every day, I see what a wonderful company it is full of dedicated and talented people. All this means I am biased. This is why I’m not giving my review a star rating. However, I do want to share my love of great theatre, so I’ve done my best to write a review that gives you the information you need to decide whether to buy a ticket.]

The Wind in the Willows is adapted for the theatre from Kenneth Grahame’s eponymous novel, first published in 1908. It was an instant hit with the public and the story’s main characters, Toad, Ratty, Mole and Badger have become cherished friends of children the world over.


Creation Theatre’s adaptation, by Helen Eastman, of this beloved story is utterly charming. Set in Oxford’s beautiful Sunnymead Meadow, it is accessed from Sunnymead Park by a pretty little rainbow bridge.


The show is divided into six, extremely picturesque, stages. There is a short walk in between each stage along a path that follows the banks of the willow lined Cherwell River. At each stage, we meet and talk to a different character and it is in this way that the story gently unfolds.

We meet a nervous but excited Mole, played beautifully by Claire Redcliffe, in a little dry creek bed – spring cleaning. Ratty, played by Lasharne Anderson, is on a rowing boat in the river, simply messing about with boats. Badger, played by Al Barclay, we meet in a more wooded area, which feels like it’s deeper in the forest.

Andy Owens plays a convincing weasel, who pops up and terrorises (very gently) the audience with his weasely-antics; he’s clearly having a ball. The setting for this show is perfection. The whole show takes approximately 40 minutes, with each stage around 5-6 minutes long and a 1-minute walk between each stage.

Each audience group is limited to 15 people made up of 3 bubbles and as the whole show takes place outside, it is very easy to maintain social distancing. Audiences meet up at a little green marquee in Sunnymead Park just off Wren Road and are led to Sunnymead Meadow, by Hare.

I know there are many families who, for different reasons, have had to continue to be extremely careful. For those families, this show is ideal. If you have an extremely vulnerable person in your group, please do call the box office, as Creation Theatre may be able to reserve a show entirely for your group (at no extra cost) – so you do not have to risk mixing at all – other than with the actors, who maintain a good distance.

This is a lovely, uplifting, gentle and joyous show full of wonder and delight. It’s just what we need.

Square Stage