Toad of Toad Hall
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Its first production was at the Lyric Theatre, London on 17 December 1929.
Milne extracted the adventures of Mr. Toad (which form only 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 his home with the help of his friends. Although not a musical, the play contains six songs.[specify]
During the play's history many actors have played the part of Toad in a number of plays, films, and TV dramatizations. These include:
- Alan Reid - BBC Television Play in 1946. Co-starred with Kenneth More as Badger and Jon Pertwee as the judge in the same adaption.
- Terry Jones – Director and actor in the film, The Wind in the Willows
- Leo McKern – as Toad on stage in London
- Michael Hordern – at the Shakespeare Memorial (now the Royal Shakespeare) Theatre, Stratford
- David Jason – for the best known animation, for Cosgrove-Hall
- Hugh Laurie – for another animation
- Rik Mayall – for a TV animation
- Griff Rhys Jones – in the West End
- Matt Lucas – for the BBC live action adaptation
- Eric Blore – in the Disney short
- Raymond Westwell – at Stratford
- 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
- Martin Friend – in London
- Ian Wallace – in London
- Michael Graham Cox – in London
- Derek Smith – in London, at Stratford and on radio
- Michael Bates – in London
- Jeremy Sinden – Old Vic, London
- Nicky Henson – in London
- Ian Talbot – in London
- Peter Sowerbutts – in Bromley, Kent
- Dale Superville – in Salisbury
- Michael Williams – Stratford
- David Philip-Harcombe Boyle – Thame
The play was adapted into a film released in 1947, Toad of Toad Hall.
In Season 2, Episode 2 of Downton Abbey, Lady Edith announces at dinner that she has volunteered to operate a tractor at a nearby farm because the men who normally operate it are away fighting in World War I. The Dowager Countess says to Lady Edith Crawley "Edith! You're a lady, not Toad of Toad Hall!"