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Riverbank Reverie by Paddy Gormley
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Riverbank Reverie 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 reading.

A full quality, digital stereo recording of the reading and discussion is available on request:
Email Paddy Gormley

Sound engineering is by
Vic Kravchenko

Riverbank Reverie is set in the late 1920s, in the realm of Kenneth Grahame’s imagination.

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, Pangbourne.

KG takes every opportunity to escape into “countries of the mind” by taking long walks to an isolated spot on the riverbank.

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 book.

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.

Click here to email Paddy Gormley for information about the project and a full recording of the rehearsed reading featured here.


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 due to:

  • Julie Hill: Producer
  • Lucy Appleby: Director
  • Peter Sutton:
    Kenneth Grahame
  • Victoria Kempton: Water Rat
  • Wendy Woodbridge: Mole
  • Vic Kravchenko:
    and Sound Engineering
  • Robin Miller:
    Casting and
    Discussion Chair
  • Liz Felton: Casting

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Click here for a page of links to other sites by Paddy Gormley