Ian Brown comes within a mole's whisker of matching last Christmas's feelgood revival of Annie with his Wind in the Willows, which faithfully evokes a kinder, gentler world where financiers wrote wistful tales of riparian japes as opposed to trading unfathomable credit derivatives and bankrupting whole continents.
There is as much fun here for adults as there is for children: Mr Toad is one of the great comic creations, lovable and annoying, and Paul Kemp is squat and delightful in the role. Jack Lord is top hole as Ratty and Tom Jude is thoroughly enjoyable as the much put upon Brummie horse Albert.
An imaginative revolving set allows the action to process by a variety of means of transport while neatly bringing us back to the cosy warmth of the burrows. The music glues the strands together: the players do not miss a note. Brown made the Christmas show a centrepiece of the Playhouse's calendar and this is a fitting swansong to his tenure.
(0113 213 7700; wyp.org.uk) to 19 JanReuse content