Following a highly-acclaimed pre-West End engagement, the major new musical THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS will open in the West End at the world-famous London Palladium. Previewing from 17 June 2017, the production will open on 29 June 2017.
Leading actor, comedian and presenter Rufus Hound stars as the amazing Mr Toad with EastEnders and Shrek star Neil McDermott as Chief Weasel. The confirmed company will also include Jenna Boyd, Abigail Brodie, Jorell Coiffic-Kamall, Nicole Deon, James Gant, Evan James, Michael Larcombe, Bethany Linsdell, Ryan Pidgen, Adam Vaughan and Georgie Westall, with further casting to be announced shortly.
On Thursday 26 January, Jamie Hendry and Julian Fellowes introduced members of the cast and creative team at an exclusive launch event held on stage at the London Palladium where Rufus Hound and the company performed a selection of songs from the musical.
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.
This riotous comedy 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.
Featuring eye-poppingly beautiful design, exuberant choreography and a gloriously British score, The Wind in the Willows brings an explosion of anarchy, humour and heart to the world-famous London Palladium.
Produced by Jamie Hendry, MJE Productions and Josh Gilinski, in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh with choreography by Aletta Collins, design by Peter McKintosh, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Gareth Owen, wig & makeup design by Linda McKnight, orchestrations by Chris Jahnke and David Shrubsole and musical supervision by Simon Lee.
Rufus Hound is one of the UK’s leading actors, presenters and comedians, most recently seen on stage in Don Quixote (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Wars of the Roses (Rose Theatre) and as Freddy in the original West End production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy Theatre). His other theatre credits include Neville’s Island (Chichester Festival Theatre) and One Man Two Guv’nors (Theatre Royal Haymarket). Television credits include Doctor Who (BBC), Cucumber (Channel 4), Drunk History (Comedy Central), A Touch of Cloth (SKY) and Hounded (BBC). He is also a regular guest on comedy panel shows such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks (BBC), Would I Lie To You? (BBC), and 8 Out Of 10 Cats (Channel 4).
Neil McDermott is best known for portraying Ryan Malloy in EastEnders (BBC). His stage credits include Lord Farquaad in Shrek The Musical (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Jean-Michel in La Cage Aux Folles (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Rolf Gruber in The Sound of Music (London Palladium). Further television credits include The Royal (ITV), Casualty (BBC) and Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (BBC).