Exploring drama in The Wind in the Willows

This month our 4-6yr olds have been exploring The Wind in the Willows through drama, music and movement.  The book was first published in 1908 and written by Kenneth Grahame. It has gone on to have great success throughout the century, with many stage and musical adaptations written by the likes of Walt Disney and A.A.Milne.

What makes it so popular with Drama Clubs?

Plot

The story follows the adventures of a group of anthropomorphised (act and behave like humans) animals in a particularly beautiful Edwardian countryside.  Long, endless summer days are juxtaposed with fast-paced action and danger.  Mole is our main protagonist and we follow him on his journey through the countryside as he meets Ratty by the river and Toad of Toad Hall in his stately mansion.  A delicious element of danger is welcomed when Mole endeavours to seek out the home of Mr Badger in the Wild Woods.

Characters

The beauty of these creations is that we all know people exactly like this in real life!

Children performing.

Children in the Willows

Mole

A sensible soul who is hard-working and loyal.  His slightly reclusive lifestyle has led to him being anxious in the unfamiliarity of the outside world and definitely gullible.

Ratty

Happy with his lot in life, Ratty serves as a sort of guardian to Mole.  He dabbles in poetry and likes to stick to his usual routines but he is reliable and charming towards his friends.

Mr Toad

The village Squire provides the comic thread of the book. Being jovial and kind-hearted makes this character particularly lovable but his conceited and boastful nature gets him and his friends into all sorts of trouble!  Mr Toad has a new obsession each day and fails to understand the word NO!

Mr Badger

Fearless, powerful and wise- Badger provides the strict parent figure in the play.  He struggles to immerse himself in society but is willing to do anything for his friends.

Settings

The Riverside

A lavish display of flourishing wildlife encourages us to fall in love with the slower pace of the riverside.

Toad Hall

Endless corridors, fountains and four-poster beds demonstrate the wealth and excess of Toad, whose inherited fortune may well be wasted on him.

The Wild Wood

Moving shadows and ever-present threats make the woods a mysterious and terrifying place.

If your child would like to explore this story through drama, movement and music, please click here.

Sarah Watson-Dramacube