Photos Reviews

Toad of Toad Hall

December 1980

by A A Milne, directed by Anne Bacon


Mole - Diana Lucas

Ratty - Mike Jeans

Badger - Gordon Halliday

Toad - Dick Dann


Nice Animals: -

Alfred, a horse - Ben Grimsey

Grandma Rabbit - Joyce Evans

Mama Rabbit - Rosie Coveney

Harold Rabbit - David Stevens

Lucy Rabbit - Lynn Trout

Boy Rabbit - Martin Lilly

Squirrels - Marie Berry, Alison Lambourne, Claire Russell & Karen Barrett

Field-Mice - Claire Russell & Steve Langfield

Turkey - Carol Pettit

Duck - Sybil Hopson

Fox - Sally Chance

Nasty Animals: -

Chief Weasel - Anthony Morris

Chief Stoat - Lynn Trout

Chief Ferret - Steve Langfield

Other Weasels, Stoats - Marie Berry, Martin Lilly, Claire Russell, Margaret Butt, Carol Pettit, Karen Barrett, Rosie Coveney, Richard Price & David Stevens

Other Characters: -

Marigold - Karen Barrett

Judge - Jim Orford

Nurse - Joyce Evans

Phoebe - Alison Lambourne

Washerwoman (Phoebe's Aunt) - Margaret Butt

Bargewoman - Marie Berry

Court Usher - Cass Thorne

Policeman - Graham Ward

Gaoler - Richard Price

Production Team:

Producer - Anne Bacon

Musical accompaniment - Don Rutter

Opening Song 'Wind in the Willows' sung by - Mike Jeans

Stage Design - Sheila Kendall-Edgecombe & Anne Bacon

Stage Construction - Mike Trout, Barry Matthews, Roy Wheeler, Alan Lambourne & James Pettit

Stage Management Team - Pat Rutter, Mike Trout, Roy Wheeler & Barry Matthews

Stage Props - Anne Atkinson, Gabrielle Borley, Angela Day & Chris Hough

Costumes - Olive Rumford, Lynn Trout & Alison Lambourne

Prompt - Joan Bowditch

Sound - Fenny Gill & Mary Jones

Lighting - Kevin Gardner

Make-up - Rosie Coveney

Front of House - Stan Atkinson and Helpers

Publicity - Gillian Yates, Cass Thorne, Dick Dann & Diana Lucas


From Exmouth & East Devon Journal - Sat. 6 Dec 1980:

Diana Lucas was superb as the lovable Mole....

City Stage For The Estuary Players

The Estuary Players' experiment of staging a show in Exeter instead of their native Topsham paid off handsomely, and particularly on two counts.

In the first place, a theatre like the Barnfield was a more appropriate venue for the splendid production of A. A. Milne's Toad of Toad Hall. It enabled producer Anne Bacon, her talented cast of players and an efficient stage management team to use their abilities to the full.

The second bonus was the handsome support which the play received. Any doubts as to whether the experiment might flounder financially were dispelled before the curtain went up on the first night. By then all seats had been sold for all four performances.

And those who had successfully booked their seats were rewarded with a happy evening's entertainment. The first night's audience contained a fair sprinkling of youngsters, as no doubt did the other performances, especially Saturday's matinee. But this presentation had an appeal for young and old alike, whether we knew the story from our childhood or not.

After Marigold, competently played by Karen Barret, had introduced us to her world of animal make-belief on the river bank, we delighted in the capers of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad. Dick Dann endeared himself particularly to the younger members of the audience as Toad. Perhaps there was a touch of Kermit of the Muppet Show fame that appealed in his clever characterisation.

Well Acted

Diana Lucas was superb as the lovable Mole using a wide variety of expressions and movements in a non-stop performance. She was a perfect contrast to Badger, a part well portrayed by Gordon Halliday with his resonant voice and superior unflappable actions.

Mike Jeans completed a very competent 'Big Four' in the role of Ratty, proving in the process that he also had a good singing voice.

The rest of the large cast, either as animals or humans, all gave good support with some enjoyable character studies. Some of them doubled up in roles, like Joyce Evans, Alison Lambourne, Lynn Trout, Rosie Coveney, Margaret Butt, Carol Pettit, Steve Langfield, David Stevens, Richard Price and Martin Lilly, while Karen Barrett, Marie Berry and Claire Russell played no less than three parts each.

Completing the cast list were Ben Grimsey, Anthony Morris, Jim Orford, Richard Thorn, Graham Ward, Sybil Hopson and Sally Chance, with Don Rutter proving a first class musical accompanist. Responsible for an effective set were Sheila Kendall-Edgecombe, Anne Bacon, Mike Trout, Barry Matthews, Roy Wheeler, Alan Lambourne and James Pettit. Special mention should also be made of the excellent costumes for which Olive Rumford, Lynn Trout and Alison Lambourne were credited in the most attractively designed programme.

- Reviewed by: George Pridmore


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