Julian Fellowes’ adaptation of The Wind in the Willows is set to open at the London Palladium after £1m of public support and a hugely successful out-of-town run.
The news was announced today by producer Jamie Hendry who said that the musical will preview from June 17 and open on June 29.
The production is currently playing at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton until November 20 November following its premiere at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Comedian, actor and presenter Rufus Hound stars as the amazing Mr Toad. This spectacular new musical, based on Kenneth Grahame’s much-loved classic, reunites Downton Abbey creator and Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
Jamie Hendry 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 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.”
George Stiles & Anthony Drewe added: “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.”
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.
The West End announcement comes after the producers opened a public investment scheme for the musical, in 2013, which saw the public seize the rare opportunity to invest in a new show through individual investments of up to £5,000.
A £1m was secured, the highest amount reported to have ever been raised through a public investment platform for a theatrical production.
The Wind in the Willows will run at the London Palladium from June 17-September 9, 2017.