is a radio serial in twelve half-hour episodes.
It explores the relationship between the life of Kenneth
Grahame and the fantasy world of his masterpiece,
The Wind in the Willows.
This website features audio
excerpts from a rehearsed reading of Episode 7, The
Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
The reading, by Actors
and Writers London took place in October 2005 before
a live audience of theatre/radio professionals. One of the excerpts
featured here includes the audience discussion that followed the
A full quality, digital stereo recording of the reading and
discussion is available on request: Email Paddy Gormley
Riverbank Reverie is set in the
late 1920s, in the realm of Kenneth Grahame’s
The success of The Wind in the Willows
(1908) has furnished KG with every material comfort, but he regrets
his enduring marriage to Elspeth Thomson
and feels guilty and ashamed at the suicide of their son Alastair,
who put himself in the path of a steam train in 1920.
The Grahames are living in their final home: Church Cottage,
KG takes every opportunity to escape into “countries of
the mind” by taking long walks to an isolated spot on the
KG recounts the story of The Wind in the
Willows in a verse “translation” in the course
of twelve solitary walks, each corresponding to a chapter of the
Each episode begins with his silent flight from the marital home
and ends peacefully on the riverbank. The characters of the story
come to life in KG’s imagination, acting out their roles
against the background of his narration. The narrative is largely
true to the original but is punctuated with reflections on key
moments in KG’s life.
Further background information is revealed in
the course of the audience discussion featured in the final audio
excerpt on this page (above left).
Paddy Gormley is actively seeking
a commission for this project.
Paddy Gormley wishes to express
his gratitude to Actors
and Writers London (AWL) for organising the reading
of Riverbank Reverie without which
this website would not have been possible. Particular thanks are