The Rose Theatre’s glittering festive production of The Wind in the Willows – sponsored by CNM Estates - is set to become the Kingston theatre’s most successful show.

Rose Chief Executive Robert O’Dowd told guests at a special reception before Friday evening’s performance on 9th December, that the adaptation of the classic Kenneth Grahame children’s story is already breaking records. “This will be, other than Judi Dench in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the most successful show that the Rose has ever produced - with five weeks to go, we are already well up on last year”.

The magical production of The Wind in the Willows, directed by Ciaron McConville, director of Learning and Participation at the Rose Theatre, runs until 3 January 2017.

One of the best loved books of all time, it’s a celebration of friendship, adventure and courage set on wild banks of the River Thames.

In a speech to supporters and guests, Mr O’Dowd thanked the volunteers, staff and corporate sponsors such at CNM Estates, for helping to make not only the show, but the Rose such a success since it opened in 2008.

In particular he thanked Wahid Samady, chairman of CNM Estates, who was a founding partner of the Rose. The Rose Theatre sponsorship is part of CNM Estates Community Engagement programme which aims to support local charities, entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Sized-Enterprises (SMEs) in the borough. “As a local Kingston company CNM Estates is very proud to sponsor the Rose Theatre,” said Mr Samady.

Mr Samady said the Rose has gone from strength to strength. Nearly a million people have watched over 580 shows at the Rose since it opened, with many productions featuring some of the country’s leading actors, producers and directors and he believes the festive production, and its cast of professional actors and children reinforced the Rose’s contribution to Youth Theatre.

“The passion of the Rose in engaging children and the success it has had is just amazing,” said Mr Samady, as he revealed that over 100 children auditioned for roles in Wind in the Willows and joined the Rose Youth Theatre as a result.

Based on information supplied by Beverley Morrison.