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Celebrating 28 years, The Wind in the Willows once again transforms the heart of the Royal Botanic Gardens from 24 December 2015 to 23 January 2016. Pack a rug and picnic, and get your tickets from Ticketmaster or www.shakespeareaustralia.com.au (or even on site before the show).
Weasel steals the opening acts of this critically acclaimed outdoor theatre production, with a stunning voice and decidedly Johnny Depp-inspired presence. 90 minutes of wholesome entertainment for the whole family starts at the "riverbank", with the introduction of the classic characters by the narrator, Head Chief Rabbit.
Some modern twists of the traditional story are included, my favourite being the inclusion of a British police officer as a later-act main character. The mannerisms and slapstick humour rounded out the animal-centric acts. My kids were charmed by Portly and Polly, the young otter siblings, and the very fact that "hey, they're kids!" While avoiding spoilers, I will include that my kids' favourite bits included plenty of toilet humour, and punching-out "the baddies".
The young 'rabbits' are encouraged to get involved in the action, and are given every opportunity to scream out loud, sing along and become part of the adventure. With laughs and surprises for children and adults, this is interactive theatre at its best.
Every summer Melbourne's iconic Royal Botanic Gardens are a hive of activity with thousands Melburnians, Victorians, national and international visitors enjoying Glenn Elston's Shakespeare Under the Stars and family favourite The Wind in the Willows. This summer the company also presents a new interactive show for preschoolers: Tinkerbell and the Dream Fairies.
Since it's inception, the company has played to over a million people nationally with critically acclaimed annual summer seasons, indoor shows, concerts, plays and indigenous festivals.
DATES: Melbourne: 24th December – 23rd January 10.30am and 6pm Tuesday – Saturday
Warragul: 10.30am and 5pm 22 January
WHERE: Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Enter via Gate F on Birdwood Avenue
Civic Park, Warragul
Clifford Street, Warragul 3820
Cash sales are available at the on-site box office unless sold out, box office opens one hour prior to each performance.
What to bring: Pack a picnic full of goodies you like to eat and drink, a blanket or cushions to sit on, sunscreen, insect repellent and a hat. Stay behind for a play at the gardens and be sure to explore Ian Potter's Children's Gardens.