Walking through the Botanical Gardens at dusk we hear birds in the trees and spot a rabbit ahead on the path. The rabbit leads us to a secret pocket amongst the bamboo grove and in the lake sits a rowboat. Families start to fluff out their picnic rugs and Eskys filled with dinner treats. Kids run around on the green grass and play hide and seek in the bushes. Frisbees are thrown and the smell of Aerogard is in the air! We find the perfect bench to sit while we crack open our own picnic of fresh fruit and sandwiches, which we enjoy as the music starts.
For 30 years the Wind in the Willows production has been enjoyed in the Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne and celebrating on this anniversary proved to be very special. Summer nights bring to life Kenneth Grahame's story of life on the riverbank with Toad, Badger, Ratty, Portly, Otter and Weasel.
The first part of the show is centered around the lake and we loved how the cast used the rowboat and my kids are still giggling that Toad actually fell in the real water! He was covered in green and soaking wet! Engaging the audience to sing and clap along had us all enjoying the music played by Ratty and Weasel. I loved seeing adults pretending to have bunny ears and watching the kids laugh as their families sang along. As the sun started to set we all jumped up and moved locations to Toad Hall just around the corner to continue the dancing. Audience members were willingly pulled into the show and kids ran around the grass searching for missing characters. Interactive theatre in full swing.
We loved that though the production is 30-years old, they brought in new music and actions that had my kids laughing, joining in and even perfecting their dab with their favourite character of the night, Weasel.
With squeals of delight from the kids we all clapped at cheered as we said goodnight to this amazing production.
Bron Leeks leads the adventurous team at Smithsholidayroad.com where she shares her families adventures with a focus on wheelchair access and inclusion. Based in Melbourne, Australia and exploring far and wide.