Craig Meneaud: What attracts you to perform?
John Anthony: Escaping and becoming what often feels like the more authentic me! I’ve been playing and singing music since I was 9 and have often felt more comfortable on stage.
What’s the best thing about creating the world of Wind In The Willows?
The joy it brings young families. The excitement for the kids and the wonderful quirky charm of all the characters.
Have you ever been boating on a river and how did you find the experience?
Did the Hawkesbury River on a house boat one New Years with some nearest and dearest. It was amazing fun.
Who is your favourite childhood hero and why?
Ulysses! He was this amazing 80’s cartoon hero who looked like a cross between Han Solo and Jesus! He had a laser/light saber and I love him still! He has strong family values and a gentle nature with the ability to kick ass when needed!
Describe yourself in 3 words or less.
Silly. Passionate. Intense.
John Anthony: Why are you doing Willows?
Craig Meneaud: I’ve had a bit of an enduring relationship with the play Wind In The Willows. I remember seeing a puppetry version of the story when I was about5 or 6 years old (our school took us on an excursion) – I was utterly entranced with the story and the performers.
I’ve since been cast in the play when in drama school at Theatre Nepean; later on I had the chance to direct the play for TAFE’s Theatre and Performance course. So I guess I’m doing the play not only because I love
the story (and the almost mythic quality about these characters), but also because the play seems to be calling out to me in a strange kind of way.
Who’s your favourite character?
My fave character – well that’s pretty tough because they are all so fantastic in their own special way. But it would have to be Ratty – his love affair with the natural world and his sense of loyalty to all his
friends are pretty special and worthy traits.
Who would win in a fight between Badger and Ratty?
Hah! It would no doubt be Badger – well, I think so anyway (in a physical kind of contest at least). Although there is something to be said for deft nimbleness of the body and a certain quickness of mind. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so clear cut after all!
Describe the colour yellow to somebody who’s blind.
The colour yellow is like peaches and custard – or another way to describe yellow would be to say it’s the warmth of the sun on a cold wintry day, and the light that wakes you in the morn to start your day.
What do you think Rabbits dream about?
Rabbits must dream of endless plates of carrot dishes served up in impossibly special and exotic number of ways. And while they sleep, I’m sure Rabbits are devising ways to put tolls on more and more public access
routes – a bit like the Government in the big Wide World!
John Anthony and Craig Meneaud can be seen in The Wind In The Willows with The Australian Shakespeare Company.
Dates: 6 – 23 Jan, 2016
Venue: Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney