Milne extracted the adventures of Mr. Toad, which make up 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 Toad Hall with the help of his friends. Although not a musical, the play contains six songs, with music written by Harold Fraser-Simson.
During the play's history many actors have played the part of Toad in a number of plays, films, and TV dramatizations. These include:
- Terry Jones – director and actor in the film, The Wind in the Willows.
- Also, in the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "Ethel the Frog", Jones plays Superintendent Harry "Snapper" Organs of Q Division, one of whose undercover disguises, while tracking the notorious criminals the Piranha Brothers, is Rat from Toad of Toad Hall.
- Eric Blore – in a Disney film
- David Jason – in the best known animation, the 1983 film The Wind in the Willows, and the TV series Oh! Mr Toad, both by Cosgrove Hall Films
- Raymond Westwell – at Stratford
- Martin Friend – in London
- Derek Smith – in London, at Stratford and on radio
- Ian Talbot – in London
- Peter Sowerbutts – in Bromley, Kent
- Dale Superville – in Salisbury
- David Philip-Harcombe Boyle – Thame
- Alan Reid - BBC Television Play in 1947. Co-starred with Kenneth More as Badger and Jon Pertwee as the judge.
- Rik Mayall – in a TV animation
- Leo McKern – as Toad on stage in London
- Michael Hordern – at the Shakespeare Memorial (now the Royal Shakespeare) Theatre, Stratford
- Hugh Laurie – in another animation
- Griff Rhys Jones – in the West End
- Matt Lucas – in a BBC live action adaptation
- 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
- Ian Wallace – in London
- Michael Graham Cox – in London
- Michael Bates – in London
- Jeremy Sinden – Old Vic, London
- Nicky Henson – in London
- Michael Williams – Stratford
The play was produced by BBC Radio 4 on 21 April 1973 for the Saturday Night Theatre.
- Gray, Louise (6 September 2013). "Where are they now? The characters of Wind in the Willows". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "Council's 'Wind in the Willows' literary gaff is Pooh". 20 August 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- Graham, Kenneth (1993). The Wind in the Willows. Wordsworth Classics. pp. Introduction by AA Milne. ISBN 1-85326-122-X.
- "A. A. Milne*, Kenneth Grahame, H. Fraser-Simpson* - Toad Of Toad Hall". Discogs. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "The Wind in the Willows (1996)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad". IMDb. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "The Wind in the Willows (I) (1983)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Oh! Mr. Toad (1989– )". IMDb. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Toad of Toad Hall (1947)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 December 2015.