Friday, October 2

Casting News for Julian Fellowes, Stiles & Drewe new production of The Wind in the Willows musical

Updated 17th June: comedian and actor Rufus Hound is to play Toad. Fra Fee will play Mole; Thomas Howes is boat loving Ratty; and Neil McDermott (Ryan in EastEnders) is Chief Weasel.  The cast also includes Sophia Nomvete as Mrs Otter with  Badger still to be announced.

Joining them are  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.

The world premiere of Julian Fellowes' new musical production of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows will open at the Theatre Royal  Plymouth from 8th-22nd  October 2016 and heads to The Lowry, Salford from  October 27th to 6th November,  ahead of a West End run.

It  will be the first ever West End musical to crowd-source funding. A million pounds was raised after producers opened funding up to the public last year

The Wind in the Willows has a book by the Oscar-winner and Downton Abbey screenwriter Fellowes with music and lyrics from Olivier Award-winning duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

This will be the first time the trio have worked together since their hit version of Mary Poppins in 2004. Rachel Kavanaugh will direct  (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's  The Sound of Music and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers).

Grahame's book has previously been adapted into both plays and films.Fellowes said: "The Wind in the Willows has been a favourite of mine literally all my life. It has been a real privilege to be part of the team re-imagining it for the musical stage... I shall be on the edge of my seat when we open at Plymouth, a marvellous theatre and the perfect launch pad for us to begin."

Tickets are now on sale for Plymouth
and Salford Lowry . Casting details and London  dates are still to be announced

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