The stage version of The Wind in the Willows, by Alan Bennett, caused a popular sensation when it first appeared at The National Theatre in 1990. It has since become a classic in its own right.

Now Kenneth Grahame’s tale of Mole, Ratty, Badger, Mr Toad, and their many friends, comes to the Abbey Theatre.

With the original additional lyrics and music by Jeremy Sams, as well as new music by Emma Barry, the story tells of the shy young Mole who is introduced to the joys of the riverbank by the enthusiastic Ratty.

He then meets the ebullient and reckless Mr Toad, and is propelled into a series of adventures, including fast cars and a prison break, ending with an exciting battle to take back Toad Hall.

First published in 1908, The Wind in the Willows was originally a bedtime story for Grahame’s young son, Alastair, and based on his childhood memories of growing up close to the River Thames, at Cookham Dean, Berkshire.

Abbey Theatre, Westminster Lodge, Holywell Hill, St Albans, AL1 2DL, Friday, December 17 until Friday, December 30. Details: 01727 847472,