Friday, December 9

New Wind in the Willows Musical from Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is to write a new musical adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's novel The Wind in the Willows for London’s West End. Fellowes also won an Oscar for Gosford Park.

He will reunite with composer and lyricist duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe for the project. Stiles and Drewe’s many collaborations include Betty Blue Eyes which ran in the West End earlier this year, and the Olivier Award-winning Honk! The trio previously worked together on Cameron Mackintosh's West End and Broadway production of Mary Poppins.

Fellowes said: "The Wind in the Willows is one of our greatest classics and as true and entertaining now as it has ever been. I am delighted and tremendously flattered to have been asked to write the book for the new musical. In fact, I suspect this is something I've been wanting to do subconsciously for many years."

Stiles added: "We all celebrate our English roots as writers and the musical possibilities of Kenneth Grahame's classic chime very strongly with me. The book itself is packed with music and songs so I can't wait to find the sounds to score Ratty, Mole, Badger, Toad and their adventures".

It is hoped that the musical will open in 2013. It will be produced by Jamie Hendry Productions whose recent shows include Legally Blonde the Musical, Birdsong, Spring Awakening and La Cage Aux Folles.

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