The Wind in the Willows
Four little animals—the shy Mole, Rat, who loves the river, Badger who doesn't go out much, and Toad, whose boisterous adventures can have dangerous consequences—stand up to bullies, rescue a baby otter, and learn how to listen to what the wind whispers in the willows, all along the river.
In our production, the characters appear in many ways: as large puppets, hand puppets, masks, shadows, acted by humans, and on film. We like to keep the audience guessing, with small telling details and changes of perspective that stir the imagination.
Russell Levia's live music, played on banjo, harmonica, accordion, zither and hornpipe, uses themes from many composers, from Percy Grainger and Vaughan Williams to Beethoven.
We're excited to have school choirs join us on stage for our performances of The Wind in the Willows. Over the course of our run more than 20 different school choirs will sing for us. So, no matter which performance you choose, you'll hear the sweet sound of children's voices.
There's lots of info on the show, along with suggestions for activities you can do before and after the show, in our guide:Wind in the Willows guide
Tickets are $10 each, or 4 for $32. You can purchase or reserve them here.
We don't mail out our tickets—they're like airline tickets, once you book them just come to the theatre on the day (we'll be there a 45 minutes before the show), identify yourself and we'll give them to you then.Buy Tickets
Centrepointe Theatre is located at 101 Centrepointe Drive in Ottawa’s west-end. It is a 10-minute drive from downtown and just a few minutes walk from the Baseline transit station. Parking is free. Visit their site here.
The Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Boulevard, is 15 minutes from downtown, and a 5-minute walk from OC Transpo’s 95 Orléans stop at Place d’Orléans. Parking is free. Visit the Shenkman's site here.
The River Bank
Mole cleans his house, emerges into the sunshine and, to his great delight, meets Rat. The two have a wonderful picnic but on the way home, over-enthused Mole capsizes the boat. Rat graciously invites Mole to stay and live with him.
The Open Road
Mole and Rat visit Toad of Toad Hall who is generous but tends to be conceited and obsessive. He takes them on a trip in his horse drawn caravan but when it is driven off the road into a ditch by a motor car, Toad has found a new craze: cars.
The Wild Wood
Hoping to meet Badger, Mole ventures into the Wild Wood, where he is frightened by shadowy creatures and takes refuge in a the hollow tree. By the time Rat finds him, it is snowing and the two are lost in a snowstorm until they stumble on the welcome mat of Badger's house.
Mole and Rat enjoy Mr. Badger's warm hospitality. The three of them decide to take Toad in hand come spring.
Badger, Rat and Mole move in with Toad to try to cure his now dangerous addiction to motor-cars but Toad escapes their vigilance through an upstairs window. He steals a car, drives recklessly, insults a police officer, and is sentenced to twenty years in jail.
Toad, befriended by the jailor's daughter, dresses as a washerwoman to escape from jail. He hops a train to escape his pursuers, jumps off at an unknown wood, and shelters in a hollow tree.
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
When Otter's young son is missing, Rat and Mole row out looking for him. They hear a mysterious piping sound that draws them to an island where they catch a glimpse of Pan, the Friend and Helper, cradling the baby Otter.
Weasels in Toad Hall
In Toad's absence, Stoats and Weasels have moved into Toad Hall. When Toad returns, Badger, Mole and Rat hatch a plan to get it back.
The Weasel's Defeat
Mole spreads rumours among the Stoats that Toad has returned with a huge army. When the four friends storm the dining hall through a secret passageway, their sudden entrance causes such terror and confusion that the interlopers are easily defeated.
Toad renounces motor cars and sends gifts and letters of apology to all those he has wronged. Everyone settles back into peaceful lives.
Wow! What an amazing show. I love the use of language & careful attention to the character development - very much like the stories!! The musical accompaniment, use of puppets, beautiful props & set design are brilliant. This production was very accessible for children. Thanks for your efforts. You are a very talented team!—Grade one/two teacher, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
Brilliant production! The use of music added so much. Even the 6's were entranced, and they are a tough audience. This is the first time I've seen one of your productions and I loved it. Thank you!—An Ottawa area teacher
Just a quick note to let you know we adored your performance of The Wind in The Willows at Puppets Up! My four year old has been talking non-stop today with his 18 month old brother, about the importance of driving safely and ensuring you never steal a car. He has already asked if you will be returning to the festival next year (please do!), and in the meantime we might make the venture from Almonte to Orleans to see one of your performances later this year. Thanks again for putting on a wonderful show. It was a pleasure for both Duncan and I to experience your artistry. —A Parent
The props, your voices, the music, the movement and flow was perfect and inspiring. We will certainly be bringing some friends with us to see your performances at the Shenkman Arts Centre in the fall. Congratulations and thank you for a magical and memorable performance. —Another Parent