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Toad of Toad Hall facts for kids

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For the character, see Mr. Toad.
Toad-of-toad-hall
Poster for a 2008 theatrical production of Toad of Toad Hall

Toad of Toad Hall is a play written by A. A. Milne, the first of several dramatisations of Kenneth Grahame's 1908 novel The Wind in the Willows, with incidental music by Harold Fraser-Simson.

Its first production was at the Lyric Theatre, London on 17 December 1929.

Conception

Milne extracted the adventures of Mr. Toad, which make up about half of the original book, because they lent themselves most easily to being staged. Milne loved Grahame's book, which is one of the reasons he decided to adapt it.

Characters, plot and music

The play has four main characters: Rat, Badger, Mole, and Toad. Toad's caravan and car adventures are included, as well as his imprisonment, escape, and subsequent fight with the weasels and stoats to regain Toad Hall with the help of his friends. Although not a musical, the play contains six songs, with music written by Harold Fraser-Simson.

Actors

During the play's history many actors have played the part of Toad in a number of plays, films, and TV dramatizations. These include:

  • Terry Jones – director and actor in the film, The Wind in the Willows.
    • Also, in the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "Ethel the Frog", Jones plays Superintendent Harry "Snapper" Organs of Q Division, one of whose undercover disguises, while tracking the notorious criminals the Piranha Brothers, is Rat from Toad of Toad Hall.
  • Eric Blore – in a Disney film
  • David Jason – in the best known animation, the 1983 film The Wind in the Willows, and the TV series Oh! Mr Toad, both by Cosgrove Hall Films
  • Raymond Westwell – at Stratford
  • Martin Friend – in London
  • Derek Smith – in London, at Stratford and on radio
  • Ian Talbot – in London
  • Peter Sowerbutts – in Bromley, Kent
  • Dale Superville – in Salisbury
  • David Philip-Harcombe Boyle – Thame
  • Alan Reid - BBC Television Play in 1947. Co-starred with Kenneth More as Badger and Jon Pertwee as the judge.
  • Rik Mayall – in a TV animation
  • Leo McKern – as Toad on stage in London
  • Michael Hordern – at the Shakespeare Memorial (now the Royal Shakespeare) Theatre, Stratford
  • Hugh Laurie – in another animation
  • Griff Rhys Jones – in the West End
  • Matt Lucas – in a BBC live action adaptation
  • Patrick Wymark – at Stratford
  • Gerald Campion – on television, and in London
  • James Hayter – on television
  • Jeremy Geidt – in London
  • Peter Woodthorpe – in London and at Stratford
  • Ian Wallace – in London
  • Michael Graham Cox – in London
  • Michael Bates – in London
  • Jeremy Sinden – Old Vic, London
  • Nicky Henson – in London
  • Michael Williams – Stratford

Adaptations

The play was adapted by the BBC in 1947 as a television movie, Toad of Toad Hall.

The play was produced by BBC Radio 4 on 21 April 1973 for the Saturday Night Theatre.

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