The extraordinary true story behind The Wind in the Willows
The Killing of Mr Toad re-visits Kenneth Grahame's timeless classic, The Wind in the Willows and tells the powerful and moving story behind it.
Leaflet for the play
(PDF, 140 kB)
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1934. Elspeth Grahame, elderly widow of Kenneth Grahame, lives alone, rarely washing, barely eating. When she receives flowers from a young fan of The Wind in the Willows, memories flood in and the familiar characters of Toad, Badger, Rat and Mole appear – to perform a musical entertainment in honour of their creator, laying bare the tragicomedy of their real-life counterparts: the shy, retiring Kenneth Grahame, who was both Secretary of the Bank of England and a successful author; Elspeth, an eccentric socialite; and their bumptious only son, Alastair – who became the prototype for Toad.
This rich and unusual play begins as a celebration of a famous book, but becomes a hard-hitting story of a dysfunctional family, unrealistic parental ambitions and teenage breakdown – as the author who delighted so many children is unable to save his own son.
A sad delight… I enjoyed every minute of it.
Robert Hewison, The Sunday Times
Alan Bennett, in his collection of prose writings, Writing Home
A wonderful theatrical experience. At times extremely funny, and others deeply touching, it achieves exactly the right balance of humour and tragedy
Helen Macdonald, whatsonstage
The most recent production, directed by David, was at the Finborough Theatre, London in early summer 2009. For the cast list, more reviews of the play, and other details, go to the finboroughtheatre's production of The Killing of Mr Toad.
The play script of the stage play was published by the Finborough Theatre in 2009 (Finborough Theatre play scripts)(Copies available via David's e-mail link, right).
The Killing of Mr Toad was written by David Gooderson.
For credits, rest mouse over image
For all enquiries about performing rights, whether professional or amateur, contact David’s Literary Agent:
Mike Sharland at The Sharland Organisation
Tel: +44 (0)1933 626600
No public performance of this play can be given unless a licence is obtained before rehearsals begin.