I realised I've never gave my thoughts. I saw this on Sunday afternoon and positively loved it. I've been a fan of Stiles and Drewe for a while and this is possibly their best yet. A beautiful score full of charming and brilliant numbers. Particularly highlights were Spring (what an opening number!), Messing About In A Boat (delightful) and We're Taking Over The Hall. As others have mentioned previously however, some of the best songs go to minor characters; The Headgehogs Nightmare and Wassailing Mice are wonderfully done.
The show is beautifully designed and there is so much set; trains, barges, cars you name it, it's in this show. And the sets are beautifully done. Subtle use of the revolve too. This is a production where no penny has been spared. Likewise, the costumes are lush and extravagant. A unique blend of animal and human.
Fra Fee and Thomas Howes stole it for me. Their friendship as Mole and Ratty really won me over and David Birrell is marvellous as Badger. Neil McDermott has some wonderful moments as Chief Weasel also, Taking Over The Hall and The Wild Wooders are excellently led by him.
As I've confessed above, the only cast member I was not impressed with was Rufus Hound. It just feels like he's doing his own show. There's no direction and he's throwing away genuinely funny lines. Not to mention the fact he can't sing the role. Toad is the character audiences should be leaving talking about, and this just isn't the case.
Really excited to be seeing this at the Palladium. Not been there in a while, so will be nice to revisit. Preferably on a day where Hound is indisposed.
Really? It was like he was doing his own show. The other leads are fantastic.
Really! He's supposed to be totally "out there" and he was. He's quite slapstick too (I was reminded of the Ruprecht scenes in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) which again worked for me, and that scene on the barge with the buckets of soapsuds lol. I thought his voice was better in DRS but again it seemed to suit the character of Toad. I found him very likeable.
My pal bumped into him in a bar in the Northern Quarter last week and they compared moustaches. He said RH was absolutely charming.
I'm glad that something big and new is coming to the Palladium! And it's good to see something where the ticket prices are a little bit more modest than what would be expected of a theatre that size. Hopefully more and more new shows opening will do the same.
I like Styles and Drewe stuff, I really do. I still remember Just So at the Tricycle years ago with a very young Jenna Russell, Linzi Hateley and a host of other names we still know now (poster framed and treasured on a wall of my home) and Chichester did a great production of it a couple of years back. Honk was really enjoyable in the tiny Watermill. I loved their work on Mary Poppins and on Half A Sixpence, and would urge people to give the latter a chance in its London run. And Soho Cinders is a gorgeous little piece, so I am rather looking forward to this at the Union next month...
But much as I would love to see this (it sounds right up my street from some of the positive comments on here) I'm worried that this is going to turn into one of those Kiddies' Bawlin' And Behavin' Badly Shows, with them bringing along their equally badly behaved parents who couldn't care less about those of us who genuinely want to see and enjoy the show. The run at the Palladium is slap-bang in the school holidays. I've kept clear of Aladdin too for the same reasons, even though I love Disney and its creators. I'm cutting off my nose, I know, but I don't want my blood to boil for an evening, when I will have paid good money to enjoy something.
(Interesting to note is a sort of "warning" to parents on the RU booking page that there are to be no babies or under 6s and that children but be able to sit, pay attention and not cause a distraction to others, so I will be interested to hear what the score is once it opens.)