Denise Welch, Gary Wilmot, Simon Lipkin and Craig Mather will join Rufus Hound and Neil McDermott in the cast of The Wind in the Willows which will speed into the London Palladium in June.
Announcing the new casting details, producer Jamie Hendry also revealed previews would begin ahead of schedule on Friday 16 June (opening night is 29 June). He also unveiled a ticketing initiative that would allow children to see the hit show for free at 80 performances over the summer.
Adapted for the stage by the team of Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the major new musical theatre adaptation of the family classic received its world premiere at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth in October last year before heading for The Lowry in Salford and Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre.
As previously confirmed, Hound will reprise his performance as speed demon Mr Toad alongside EastEnders actor McDermott as Chief Weasel. Coronation Street favourite and former ‘Loose Woman’ Welch will play Mrs Otter with West End favourites Wilmot, Lipkin and Mather stepping into the roles of Badger, Rat and Mole respectively.
The confirmed company also includes: Chris Aukett, Joel Baylis, Jenna Boyd, Abigail Brodie, Abigail Climer, Jorell Coiffic-Kamall, Nicole Deon, Emilie du Leslay, Joshua Gannon, James Gant, Evan James, Michael Larcombe, Bethany Linsdell, Ryan Pidgen, Adam Vaughan, Georgie Westall and Natalie Woods.
Based on Kenneth Grahame’s timeless novel, The Wind in the Willows features a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Fellowes and music and lyrics by the Olivier Award-winning Stiles and Drewe. The trio previously collaborated on the international hit musical Mary Poppins which ran for three years in the West End and six years on Broadway.
Developed and produced by Jamie Hendry Productions, MJE Productions and Josh Gilinski and presented in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth, the production is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh with choreography by Aletta Collins, set and costume design by Peter McKintosh, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Gareth Owen, wig and make-up design by Linda McKnight, orchestrations by Chris Jahnke and David Shrubsole and musical supervision by Simon Lee.
Tickets will be available from £15, with reduced price preview performances. Kids go free on Monday to Friday performances for tickets booked by 31 May.
Tickets for The Wind in the Willows at the London Palladium are available HERE.
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