Wednesday 12th to Saturday 22th May 2006
A Note from the Director
Approximately eight years ago I saw the delightful production of Alan Bennett's adaptation of The Wind in the Willows at the Old Vic. On returning home I kept imagining this fantastic play performed at Mottisfont, with the setting of Mottisfont Abbey as Toad Hall. The river -- of course -- but would we be allowed to use it? The wild wood -- the largest plane tree in England growing in the grounds -- what could be a more perfect backdrop?
I raised the idea of The Wind in the Willows at Mottisfont with the Maskers Committee and members of the company, and continued to discuss and develop the idea over the next few years. Everyone seemed to agree that it was a wonderful idea. Eventually the play was released to amateurs -- but then I had to wait until it could fit in with my personal commitments. When I was asked to direct this year's 25th production, we were in business at last.
Well, they (whoever 'they' are!) say "never work with children or animals". You could say the whole cast is portraying animals, so that is one part of the rule broken. As for the children -- that was double trouble! It is necessary to have two teams so that they can rest between performances, which is fine, but that means rehearsing their scenes twice -- not to mention other complications! Then there was 'boat practice'. Keeping the boat upright and your costume dry isn't easy with dialogue to say as well (even though our 'Ratty' had experience of boating).
There were the logistics of organising a cast of 49 -- with music, dance rehearsals, rehearsing in the pouring rain -- just to mention a few problems. However -- the pleasure of seeing all the scenes come together was tremendous -- all the hard work of the costume, props, set and backstage departments, especially the costume designs by Lewis Yapp which bring a freshness and quirkiness to the show, and complement Alan Bennett's script perfectly.
The Company joins me in hoping that the 'Motti Magic' that we have experienced for the last 24 productions continues at this, our 25th!
Sheana Carrington. Director Wind in the Willows
|THE RIVER BANK|
|Rat||Philip de Grouchy|
|Portley, a young otter||Holly Ryan, Georgia Humphrey|
|Albert, a horse||Ken Spencer|
|Tommy, a hedgehog||Daniel Mackney, Lydia Caveney|
|Billy, a hedgehog||Georgia Griffiths, Phoebe Blandford|
|Rabbits||Brenda Atkinson, Moyra Allen, Rae Kibble, Sarah Murdoch, Ron Randall, Jo Welch, Anna Carrington|
|Hedgehogs||Bruce Atkinson, Richard Hackett|
|Squirrels||David Collis, Graham Skinner, Nicola Caveney, Charlotte Webb|
|Field mice and small rabbits||Abigail Caveney, Lydia Caveney, Phoebe Blandford, Cicely Blandford, Hernione 'Fizz' Blandford, Georgia Humphrey, Anna Carrington, Holly Ryan, Daniel Mackney, Georgia Griffiths, Chloe Sensier, Olivia Thomas, Kirsty Figuera, Sophie Figuera, Thomas Welch, William Carrington, Lola Gerrard|
|THE WILD WOOD|
|Chief Weasel||Adam Taussik|
|Weasel Norman||Paul Baker|
|Stoats||Jez Minns, Rachel Thomas, Martin Caveney, Richard Hackett|
|Ferrets||Rae Kibble, Jo Welch|
|THE WIDE WORLD|
|Mr Parkinson||David Collis|
|Motorist Rupert||Alan Watson|
|Motorist Monica||Emma Carrington|
|Clerk of the Court||Moyra Allen|
|Gaoler's daughter||Kate Grundy|
|Washer Woman||Jenni Watson|
|Train Driver||Bruce Atkinson|
|Barge Woman||Avril Woodward|
|Production Manager||Tony Austin|
|Stage Manager||Angie Barks|
|Costume Design||Lewis Yapp|
|Make-up advisor||Libby Crawford, assisted by, Lara Duncan & Jan Spiers|
|Wardrobe Mistress||Eileen Stannard|
|Set Design||Ken Spencer|
|Set Construction||Roger Lockett, Ken Spencer, students of Southampton City College|
|Riverbank 'Stove Master'||Brian Stansbridge|
|Lighting Design||Tony Lawther|
|Sound Design||Jamie McCarthy, Lawrie Gee|
|Sound Operator||Jamie McCarthy|
|Sound Reinforcement||Tony Lawther|
|Technical Team||Clive Weeks, Nathan Weeks, David Fawcett, Martin Clift, Julia Campone, students of Southampton City College|
|Properties Coordinator||Emma Carrington|
|Properties||Ella Lockett, Gill Buchanan, Liz Hill, Alison McCarthy, Jo Iacovou, Narinda Gill, Jenni Watson|
|Special Effects||Tont Lawther -- PRESTECH|
|Musical Director||Pam de Grouchy|
|Musical Accompanist||Rosa Longman|
|Fight Arranger||Paul Benzing|
|Front of House Manager||Geoff Cook assisted by Pam Cook|
|Marketing and Publicity||Angela Stansbridge and team|
|Stewards/ Box Office||Maskers Theatre Company|
|Publicity Design||John Hamon|
Yorkshire Playhouse for Toad's car.
"Trigger the Train" presented by Roy Rogers.
St Denys' Rowing Club -- Ratty's boat.
Nathan Roe -- rowing advice for Ratty.
Southampton City College (Marine Technology) - "The Barge".
Manor Farm Country Park.
Ian Abrahams, Bitterne Local History Society.
Martin Humphreys -- transport.
All those who have taken care of the little animals of the River Bank!
The National Trust.
click on a photo to enlarge it