THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS returns to York Theatre Royal this summer starring Martin Barrass and Jonathan Race


Thursday 31 July to Saturday 30 August

This summer treat your little ones to the magic of theatre with York Theatre Royal’s The Wind in the Willows.

Damian Cruden (Director), Catherine Chapman & Lydia Denno (Design) Richard G Jones (Lighting Design) and Christopher Madin (Composer and Musical Director) - Adapted from the much loved Kenneth Grahame novel by Mike Kenny

Starring - Martin Barrass (Toad), Jonathan Race (Ratty), Michael Lambourne (Chief Weasel), Robin Simpson (Mole), Jacky Naylor (Badger), Josh Sneesby (Rabbit), Richard Mark (Mr. Fox), and Deborah Hewitt (Mrs. Otter)

This summer the magic of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows is brought to life by York Theatre Royal’s Artistic Director, Damian Cruden. After its sell out success in 2010, this classic children’s tale returns in a new configuration. The 2014 summer production includes a talented cast of familiar theatre faces including Martin Barrass, Jonathan Race, Michael Lambourne and Robin Simpson to name just a few.

Martin Barrass returns as Mr Toad. Martin trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Gestures. Some of Martin’s theatre credits include The Railway Children, Getting On, Bouncers, She Stoops to Conquer, The Elephant Man and York Theatre Royal’s annual pantomime written by the UK’s longest running Dame – Berwick Kaler. Martin’s television credits include Emmerdale, The Bill, Heartbeat, The Firm and Remembrance.

Jonathan Race will play the part of Ratty. Race trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His theatre credits include The Railway Children, Three Men in a Boat, Angels and Insects and Robin Hood and His Merry Mam! The Night before Christmas (Big Wooden Horse) and The Gruffalo (Tall Stories). His on screen roles have included Emmerdale and feature film Weekend. Jonathan is also the Artistic Director of The Useful Donkey Theatre Company.

Michael Lambourne, originally from Cambridge, trained at John Moores University and at The Hope Street Physical Theatre Course, Liverpool. The Wind in the Willows was the first production Michael was involved in at Primary School, where he played Weasel. Lambourne’s theatre credits include The Barber in Sweeney Todd (Jacksons Lane), Lampwick in Pinnochio (The Dukes, Lancaster) Gustave in Thieves Carnival (Watermill Theatre) Mr Mugglewump in The Twits (Pilot Theatre) The Predators in The Gruffalo (Tall Stories), The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland (Library Theatre, Darwen), and Mould in Fungus the Bogeyman (Pilot Theatre). Lambourne is also graced our television screens with parts on CBBC and Chuckle vision.

Damian Cruden has enjoyed casting this play and is now looking forward to the team coming together for the start of rehearsals in early July. Damian said “It's great to be going back to the wild wood and toad hall again this summer. This is such a fantastic adaptation by Mike Kenny as it captures the true depth of Grahams' original. There's lots of fun and beauty to be found in this production and I'm looking forward to working with some old friends and some new young wild wooders who'll be giving Mr Toad A run for his money.  Chris Mains music is enchanting and the designers have come up with some fantastic new ideas for the space in which our audience are welcome to come and explore.”
Join the loveable characters amiable Ratty, wise Badger, Chief Weasel, mild mannered Mole, and the infamous Mr. Toad as they tell action packed stories of boating on the river, adventuring in the Wild Woods, battling weasels at Toad Hall and a few mishaps with motor cars.

The fun doesn’t end there. Kids and big kids alike can take the Wild Wood Challenge and become a Wild Wooder. Learn the ways of a Wild Wooder; how to make something from nothing, how to spin a good yarn and how to repel a weasel attack! If you prove yourself worthy you’ll join our merry band of Wild Wooders, unless you’re a badger of course, then you’ll be in the miserable band!

This summer audiences will also see the York Theatre Royal foyer transformed into a magical grassy woodland space for families to enjoy.

From the York Theatre Royal team that created Olivier Award Winning The Railway Children, and subsequent summer spectaculars Peter Pan and The Legend of King Arthur, comes this magic family story, re-told in an inventive and enchanting production. This production aims to surprise, delight and to bring families closer to the action on stage. You can see The Wind in the Willows from Thursday 31 July to Saturday 30 August.

For more information about these productions and to book tickets, please visit or phone the Box Office on 01904 623568.