THE guys and gals of Chapterhouse Theatre Company took the audience on a rip-roaring tour through Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s tale in the majestic grounds of Lacock Abbey as part of an open air tour of 170 venues.

As the sun set in the background, we were treated to an action-packed retelling with Weasel (Leo Garrick) cast as the villain, with his sidekick Stoat (Amy Llewellyn), trying to take over the forest.

Although I did wonder if we would be able to hear them, given the vastness of the lawns out into which they had to project their voices, I need not have worried as 99 per cent of the dialogue came across loud and clear, a testament to their professionalism.

The company broadly followed the original tale with a West Country Toad (Tom Wilson) displaying all the joviality and conceitedness for which the character is famous, with his obsession with horse-drawn carriages and, later, motor cars. Of particular note was the switch to slow motion for Toad, Ratty and Mole’s inevitable crash, complete with sound effects.

Impressive sword fights, childish squabbling, moments of crazy, unstoppable dancing and a charming duck dance in the interval for the children all added up to a quintessentially English way to spend the last evening of the summer holidays.