Waiting for the show to begin, the stage was set with props covered by cloth to hide the surprises and the sound system filled the stage with sounds of water and crickets chirping. This ambient noise morphs to augment whatever scene is playing out on stage and helps set the atmosphere and tone right from the beginning. Daniel Edmonds is to be commended for his attention to detail.
Dressed in a silly costume of an arrow adorned onesie and a striped jacket, Shaka was neutral enough to play his characters interchangeably while still remaining interesting enough for the theatre to keep its eyes on him. He narrates the story as rambunctious Mr.Toad and complements his imaginary cast with Ratty, a refined and posh poet; Mole, a shy and timid creature; and Badger, a gruff and unsociable recluse. The main character is Mr. Toad whom the story revolves around. His three friends depart on an adventure with him where he learns much about himself.
Shaka set out his characters carefully, making sure that each had its own distinct personality and manner of speech. This helped the audience to grasp which characters were being played at every moment when Shaka switched rapidly between them during scenes of chaos.
Juxtaposition of scenes and the equally contrasting choices in sound design highlight the euphoric joys and sinking sadness which greatly affected the audience. In this respect, adults with an imagination would highly appreciate the art that is Kat Henry's direction.
The songs and audience participation activities ensured that the children were kept engaged with the show and the interaction escalated to a finale where all the members of the audience threw a sock onto the stage!
A charismatic performance by Shaka Cook wherein he teaches us that everything should be done in moderation so that we may be like "sensible Mr. Toad"! Hanford was invited as a guest