Rehearsals have begun for the highly-anticipated major new musical theatre adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, created by Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Premiering at Theatre Royal Plymouth from 8 October 2016, the production will then open at The Lowry in Salford and Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, prior to opening in London’s West End.
The production stars Rufus Hound as the lovable menace Mr Toad, award-winning actor David Birrell as Badger, Irish actor and singer Fra Fee as Mole, Downton Abbey’s Thomas Howes as Ratty, EastEnders bad-boy and Shrek star Neil McDermott as Chief Weasel and Sophia Nomvete as Mrs Otter.
The full cast includes: Rakesh Boury, Courtney Bowman, Jenna Boyd, Abigail Brodie, Jorell Coiffic-Kamall, Nicole Deon,James Gant, Evan James, Graham Lappin, Michael Larcombe, Bethany Linsdell, Dylan Mason, Emma Odell, Ryan Pidgen,Patrick Sullivan, Karli Vale, Adam Vaughan, Georgie Westall and Holly Willock.
Based on Kenneth Grahame’s treasured novel which has captivated generations of readers for over a century, The Wind in the Willows has been adapted for the stage with a book by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Fellowes, Stiles and Drewe previously collaborated together on the hugely successful international hit musical Mary Poppins which ran for three years in the West End and six years on Broadway and on a new version of Half a Sixpence, currently playing at the Chichester Festival Theatre.
Produced by Jamie Hendry and MJE Productions in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth, The Wind in the Willows is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh with design by Peter McKintosh, choreography by Aletta Collins, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Gareth Owen and musical supervision by Simon Lee.