Girl Talk: The Wind in the Willows' provincial acclaim (and small-time fame)

Girl Talk: The Wind in the Willows' provincial acclaim (and small-time fame)

Taking in a local production of The Wind in the Willows with my mother-in-law, niece and her two little friends on Friday night, I was struck by not only the exquisite retelling of this time-tested tale, with its intermittent rap routines and small but colourful storybook set and detailed costuming (all a credit to its director Andrew Wright), but also by the calibre of the performances given by the cast of five (which in itself smacks of small-mindedness). 

To be a witness to people giving their finest – in performance, yes, but in any area of their gifting – is one of life's true delights. And I think we often miss such things, or discount them if we are their bearers, because in this age of globalisation of media and celebrity – with its requisite desire to be in the loop of what the gate keepers deem to be worthy of our attention – we are so focused on what's happening elsewhere, and achieving the grand prize of Lady Gaga heights of fame, or levels of Cannes, Pulitzer and Academy Award critical acclaim, that we are deficit in the noticing and the appreciating of small things.

Parochialism became old fashioned, but what did we lose in the process?
While those who rise to these heights for all the world to see are no doubt talented in their area of professional expertise, I'm not convinced that the satisfaction and fulfillment is any more or less whether on a grand scale or derived locally... or even within one's family.

This quest to be known far and wide – for Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame – is so often to our detriment; the desperation, the striving, the disappointment can cause one deep sorrow. And all the while we miss out on the satisfaction of a job well done in service to those who might benefit from our gifts, talents and abilities, like our family and our community.

Talking to a group of Year Eleven students last week, I noted that in all things we should give our best, whether that be producing an essay or a newsletter or performing in a school play, as the most successful people I'd met in life thus far had not necessarily achieved things on a national or global scale; they simply did what they do with their utmost, and that doesn't go unnoticed.

Provincial legitimacy may seem a quaint notion, but The Wind in the Willows proved to me that passion + hard work + devotion is what puts your sails in motion.

Girl With a Satchel