I really enjoyed this musical. As with any West End show, it has incredibly high production value and the sets and costumes are amazing. From a boat on the riverbank, to the mansion of Toad Hall, to a whole train racing onstage, the show wows with smooth transitions and impressive moving scenery. The costumes are fab - the animals are all recognisable, but it's done subtly - for example Toad dresses to impress in green and gold smoking jackets, while Mole is more humble in a brown sweater vest and large glasses.
The songs are brilliant and I had them in my head long after the curtain fell, so if you go with children, prepare to have the soundtrack on repeat! The cast is great too; Rufus Hound plays Toad, but we saw his understudy, who was just as good.
If you read the book or saw the film growing up, the musical is a new and exciting incarnation of the characters and world. There are even some new characters; Mrs Otter and her daughter provide some much-needed female characters, but fit into the story seamlessly.
As an adult, I wasn't sure of the moral of the show, which is that "a friend is still a friend" however annoying they are. At the end of the show Toad hasn't really changed at all and his friends are still forced to tolerate his selfishness. Although the acceptance side of the message is obviously a good one, I'm not sure sticking with someone who repeatedly ignores your help and doesn't really think about others is always the right solution?
However this is a minor point, and one which will almost definitely go over the heads of young children; Toad is genuinely hilarious and this will be the takeaway impression. This musical is enjoyable for both kids and adults; it's funny, heartwarming, exciting and memorable. My friend and I have both confessed to downloading the cast recording, and we're both in our 20s! As a family treat, or even a fun night out, The Wind in The Willows won't disappoint.