The Pumphouse / Lake Pupuke, Auckland

31/03/2012 - 21/04/2012

Production Details

Fun Outdoor Theatre  

You and your children will love this enchanting outdoor show while you follow the funny adventures of Ratty, Mole, Otter, Badger and the inimitable Toad around various locations of The PumpHouse Theatre andKillarneyPark– a surprise at every turn.

Laugh as these lovable characters try to find a picnic spot, delight in Toad’s obsession with the motorcar, and help rid Toad Hall of the naughty Weasels.

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Term Time 28 March – 5 April Generous discounts for groups – visit the Educational Season page. Public also welcome at these Term Time shows. 

Gala Performance: Saturday 31 March 5pm 

School Holidays 10 – 21 April: Early Bird discount days – Tuesday 10 & Wed 11 April. NB No performances over Easter

All shows 10.30am & 1pm

NB All children require a ticket as part of the PumpHouse Theatre policy. Only babes in arms can be granted free entry.

How the outdoor show works:

The Wind in the Willows is an outdoor production by Tim Bray Productions and starts in the outdoor amphitheatre at The PumpHouse Theatre. There are seats here but you are welcome to bring a small outdoor cushion or blanket for comfort. The show then moves to different locations. You are guided by the Audience Hosts and the actors who lead the audience to the next location and indicate where to position yourself.

The route is not difficult and is generally over footpaths or cobblestones, but there are a couple of places where the route is over grass.

As the performance occurs in different locations including the lakeside ofLakePupukeit is imperative that children are accompanied by a parent, grandparent or guardian and that your children stay in your care at all times.

The Wind in the Willows – Outdoor Production
28 Mar 2012 – 21 Apr 2012
venue: The PumpHouse Theatre

What to bring:

Most of the scenes require you to stand although some of them have places like grass or cobblestones to sit and watch the action. In which case, please bring a simple blanket or outdoor cushion to sit on. If you aren’t able to stand easily for a period of time, or find it difficult to sit on the ground you might like to carry a simple folding chair.

All of the scenes are accessible by wheelchair.

We find that it’s best for the children to sit at the front and for adults to stand at the back. But you are welcome to sit with your child/ren or for your child/ren to stand with you.

We suggest you come with sunscreen already applied and to wear a hat even on cloudy days.

You’re welcome to enjoy a picnic inKillarneyParkbefore or after the show.

Wet or inclement weather and cancellations:
The performances will proceed even on a day with light drizzle, or we may pause for a passing shower, so on suspect days please bring a raincoat or umbrella.

In the event of persistent rain or inclement weather please check our website for cancellation notices or call 09-489-8360 for information. If your show is cancelled your tickets will be valid for the two rain dates of Sunday 15th and Sunday 22nd April. If you cannot attend one of the rain date sessions then just bring your tickets to another session. If it is not possible for you to attend either the rain dates or any other session your tickets can be swapped for a credit note* for another Tim Bray Productions’ show during our 2012 Season of Theatre for Children.

*A credit note will only be offered if the performance you hold a ticket to has been cancelled due to bad weather, not if you decide you cannot attend.  

Inventive, light and beautifully performed

Review by Vanessa Byrnes 01st Apr 2012

My 8-year old town girls were excited about seeing “adult humans dressed as animals” in this production which has been mounted a few times now. It’s a wee gem that’s perfect for the 2-8 year old market; my girls were captivated by the spectacle of makeup and costumes that the concept provides.

Lake Pupuke is the ideal environment for this peripatetic production which goes from outdoor amphitheatre to lakeside to the Pumphouse Theatre itself. Live guitar and clarinet (sensitively played by Kristie Addison) complement the English idyll concept very well.

Ratty, Mole, Badger, Otter, Toad, Policeman and a trio of naughty weasels channel many spectrums of the UK class system in this story which is at times light on narrative but heavy on well-observed characterisation and inventive staging.

Madeleine Lynch plays Ratty with lovely detailed observance, always on the hunt for the perfect spot to have her picnic. Will Ratty ever get to eat that delicious sandwich?

Margaret Bremner is a sweet Mole, aware of her shortcomings but willing to rise above them. Will Mole become friends with Toad of Toad Hall?

Tom Wardle’s Toad is the classic tweed-wearing, moneyed, free spirit, always on the hunt for the next new ‘shiny’ fandangled thing.

A fantastic final scene is led by Sam Berkley as Chief Weasel. ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ will never be the same again, and Berkley’s timing is hilarious. Those three little weasels put me clearly in mind of Crash and Eddie (the skater-dude possums) from Ice Age.

This show is inventive and light, and at an hour and 10 mins tops is ideal for families with younger children. Tim Bray is renowned for providing high quality work for younger audiences and there’s something special about this show; a nostalgic, Famous-Five, cucumber-sandwich branding world where the sometimes all you have to think about is the flow of the wind in the willows.

At its heart it’s really a play about rebellion, since Toad (a kind of public school anarchist) is constantly trying to upset the order of things. I would love to see more of that sense of rebellion and naughtiness encouraged in the audience.

A great wee show beautifully performed. Take a picnic and enjoy it with the kids afterwards in the adjoining park.   


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