This year marks QYouth’s 25th anniversary and as a celebration they have had a performance of ‘Wind in the Willows’
QYouth just started with 8 members in 1992 and since then thousands of young people have joined, leading to the group accommodating 150 young people every week across 7 groups
Wind in the Willows is the first musical to be performed by the QYouth that was actually written by members of the team. It’s a fantastic retelling of the old story of Mr Toad and his friends along the riverbank.
One thing they did in retelling the story was to greatly increase the number of characters to give each member of QYouth a part and this show was certainly a demonstration of how large the QYouth is. Often the entire assemble was unable to fit onto the stage, dancing amongst the audience in the isles. It was a great experience having hundreds of actors descend upon the stage, down either side of the audience
There were some brilliant new stars in the show. Calida Rodriguez Medina played a fantastic Toad, displaying the character’s arrogance and self-centred attitude through her expressions. Joanna Wright played the introverted mole, a character that matures throughout the story, and she does a good job of acting as our guide to the Riverbank.
Sean Erwood played the wise old Badger and did good job of performing a gruff accent and hobbling along on a walking stick. While Ratty was played by William Hyde and acted well as a companion to Mole’s friend in the early parts of his life.
There was some amazing talent on the stage, this included 6 dancers who would often perform on the stage together. They showed some of the brilliant skills held by members of the QYouth, as did singing and dancing talents shown by the Weasels. There were also some rather fun scenes involving the characters of the tortoise and the hare going camping
My favourite character of the night was Albert the Horse, played by Imogen Stallard, she did a great job at visual comedy and would often make the whole theatre laugh with simply the look on her face.
The night was a great tribute to the 25 years of the QYouth, a group that has served as an inspiration for children in and around Hornchurch to find their creative sides and possibly move into the theatre.