The Wind In The Willows the Kenneth Grahame children's classic
The Wind In The Willows has bookended Ian Brown's 10-year tenure as artistic director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Reprising the family show just months after handing over the theatre's reins to James Brining, he demonstrates how he's learned to use its space to his advantage.
And this production, using Alan Bennett's adaptation of Kenneth Grahame classic children's story, is bigger and better than ever before.
The lead actors truly inhabit their roles, with Badger (Tony Jayawardena) having elements of Brian Blessed in his blustering performance and Toad (Paul Kemp) being a pantomime dame in all but name.
The cosiness of the meandering riverbank story is injected with a dose of mischief thanks to Bennett's script, with its dry references to some of the relatives of Mole (Joe Alessi) ending up as waistcoats and gentle political satire, mainly targeted at Toad's "hall" and social attitudes.
The secondary animals, however, are equally important.
A cast of young children add an element of song and dance, while many of the adult woodland creatures double as live musicians as they skitter around Colin Richmond's ingenious set.
Based on a high-rise wooden platform that reveals hidden trapdoors, it rotates to reveal snug houses and frightening trees. Surrounded by a concentric circle that acts as the river and car track, there's continuous movement without the stage ever becoming over busy.
A triumphant final hurrah for Brown and there's also a gentleness to the production that makes it one of the best Christmas shows put on at the Playhouse.
Runs until January 19. Box office: (0113) 213-770.