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Toad of Toad Hall

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ToadOfToadHallFirstEdition

Front cover of a first edition of Toad of Toad Hall.

Toad of Toad Hall is a 1929 children's play by A.A. Milne (best known as the writer of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories) with music by Harold Fraser-Simson. Although Toad of Toad Hall is not usually considered a musical it features six songs. The play is a stage adaptation of the childrens novel The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. It was formerly an annual favorite for performance at theaters throughout Britain during the Christmas and New Year period, however other more recent stage versions of The Wind in the Willows have now overtaken it in popularity.

PlotEdit

As the title indicates, the plot centers on the adventures of Mr. Toad, although they only make up about a quarter of the text of The Wind in the Willows, because Milne found them to be more easily adaptable for the stage than other parts of the novel. The play includes Toad's journey with Rat and Mole in a horse-drawn caravan, his obsession with motor cars that leads to his imprisonment and his escape from jail. The play reaches a climax with the "Battle for Toad Hall" in which Toad, Rat, Mole and Badger drive out the ferrets, stoats and weasels from the Wild Wood who have taken over Toad's home.

The main characters in Toad of Toad Hall, as in The Wind in the Willows, are Toad, Rat, Mole and Badger. The play features some human characters who are not in Grahame's novel, a girl named Marigold and her nurse. The play opens with an prologue in which Marigold speaks into a daffodil, pretending it is a telephone, and asks to speak to characters from the story. Her nurse is rather concerned that the girl thinks that she can speak to animals as if they were human beings. The play ends with an epilogue in which the main animal characters walk past a sleeping Marigold.

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