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The Wind in the Willows to open in W/E in June 2017

Theatre news

IT HAS now been confirmed that the major new musical The Wind in the Willows will open at the London Palladium on June 29, 2017, following preview performances from June 17.

The production is currently playing at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton until November 20, 2016 following its premiere at Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Rufus Hound stars as the amazing Mr Toad in this spectacular new musical based on Kenneth Grahame’s much-loved classic, which reunites Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Full casting will be announced shortly.

Jamie Hendry, the show’s producer, said: “Following wonderful receptions in Plymouth and Manchester where The Wind in the Willows has delighted adults and children alike, I’m thrilled that a wider audience will be able to share in the joy of this glorious new musical at the London Palladium.”

Hendry also confirmed that he would be continuing his pledge to provide readers of all ages the opportunity to enjoy The Wind in the Willows by sending free copies of Kenneth Grahame’s novel to every school and library in London.

He added: “I am a firm believer that our most classic novels should be freely available for everyone to enjoy. I hope that readers will fall in love with Grahame’s story as much as I did, which ultimately led to the commissioning of this musical.”

Julian Fellowes (book) said: “For my adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, which I have loved since I was a boy, to play the London Palladium, the most famous theatre of my childhood, is to bring together two of my life-long favourites. It’s a dream come true, really.”

And George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (music and lyrics) said: “It’s so thrilling to be coming to one of London’s greatest theatres with this brand new version of The Wind in the Willows. We’ve had a joyous time working again with Julian Fellowes and writing a score that celebrates this quintessentially British classic in all its eccentric glory.”

Described as a riotous comedy, The Wind in the Willows follows the impulsive Mr Toad whose insatiable need for speed lands him in serious trouble. With his beloved home under threat from the notorious Chief Weasel and his gang of sinister Wild Wooders, Toad must attempt a daring escape leading to a series of misadventures and a heroic battle to recapture Toad Hall.

The Wind in the Willows is booking until Saturday, September 9, 2017,

Tickets will be available from £15, with reduced price preview performances. There are no booking fees on tickets booked directly with the theatre. To book by phone call 0844 874 0665 or 0844 412 4650 for groups. Tickets are also available online at windinthewillowsthemusical.com/.

Times: Monday at 7pm, Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm, Tuesday and Saturday at 2:30pm.

Image: Rufus Hound as Mr Toad in The Wind in the Willows. Photo by Marc Brenner. Copyright Jamie Hendry Productions.

Read more about The Wind in the Willows and check out some production images.

Also at the London Palladium: Cinderella, with Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Amanda Holden, Lee Mead, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Count Arthur Strong, Natasha J Barnes, Suzie Chard and Wendy Sommerville (December 10, 2016 to January 15, 2017).