Moley and friends. A21_0422

Director Colin Mitchell and Leongatha Lyric Theatre president Bron Beach flank a couple of the show’s characters, Constable Squirrel played by Nick Carlson and Bossy Mouse played by Ruby Taylor. A17_0422

MOSSVALE Park in Berrys Creek made the ideal backdrop for Wind in the Willows, with the weather perfect for Friday’s opening show.

It was the first performance Leongatha Lyric Theatre has been able to hold since last year’s production of Wind in the Willows.

“It’s a miracle we’re here and we’re hoping we can pull this off,” the theatre group’s president Bron Beach said.

She expressed delight at seeing members of Lyric Theatre’s cast and crew able to return to doing what they love, entertaining an audience.

The volunteer group has up to 150 people involved in its shows, with many hands needed during preparation, backstage and front of house, as well as the performers.

Apart from boosting spirits, a successful run of Wind in the Willows is important for the coffers of Lyric Theatre.

Two other productions, Kinky Boots and Ladies in Black have each been rescheduled a couple of times due to COVID and are yet to proceed.

Therefore, they’ve brought in no income, but expenses have already been incurred for requirements such as set building.

Against the backdrop of constantly changing Covid-related rules, staging Wind in the Willows was a gamble worth taking, with sets and costumes already on hand from last year’s production.

While director Colin Mitchell has brought his own ideas to the show, he has remained true to the essence of favourite characters, including Ratty, Moley, Badger and Toad.

Audience members were encouraged to sing along, with those with Bunny ears recruited as assistant rabbits.

Sneaky weasels mingled with the audience during the engaging performance.

There was something for all, with plenty of adult humour and inuendo sitting comfortably alongside children’s entertainment.

The current season of Wind in the Willows runs for 10 shows, ending on Sunday January 30 with a 3pm performance.

See leongathalyric.com.au for details of other remaining performances and to book tickets.

Leongatha Lyric Theatre hopes to finally stage Kinky Boots in July, with Ladies in Black pencilled in for November.