Full casting has been confirmed for the UK tour of In The Willows: the explosive brand new musical retelling of The Wind In The Willows, from the award-winning Metta Theatre. Olivier award-winning actor, ‘the nation’s favourite pantomime dame’, and star of BBC’s The Story of Tracey Beaker, Clive Rowe will star as Mr Badger, while X Factor favourite Seann Miley Moore (Duck) and Let It Shine performer Matt Knight (Chief Weasel) join the cast.
With spectacular street dance choreographed by the award-winning Rhimes Lecointe (Associate choreographer for Zoo Nation, and Artistic Director of Boudicea), the production will also star deaf street dancer Chris Fonseca. In The Willows will incorporate British Sign Language (BSL) into the choreography for a unified experience for D/deaf and hearing audiences alike. There will also be audio description available for all performances across the tour.
The cast also includes Victoria Boyce as Mole, Abiola Efunshile as Owl, Treasure Iyamu as Twitchy Rabbit, Harry Jardine as Toad, Zara Macintosh as Rattie and Katherine Picar as Bitchy Rabbit.
Mole’s first day in ‘The Willows’. Her classmates look a bit scary. Surely Mr Badger will look out for her, as streetwise Rattie, rich kid Toad and cheeky Otter teach her the ways of The Riverbank. But when Toad gets locked up for joyriding, the Weasel Clan break into his (lily)pad. It’s now only a matter of time before Chief Weasel reveals Mole’s dark secret…
This classic story is brought leaping into the twenty first century. Featuring ballads, beats and backflips, this new musical will be fun for the whole family.
In The Willows will also be reaching out to young performers across the country to appear onstage in the production at their local theatre. Beginning with a free dance workshop from leading dancer Sheila Attah – open to beginners and performers with access needs – successful performers aged 17-25 will have the chance to perform onstage alongside some of the country’s leading musical performers.
The production will also be encouraging D/deaf performers to apply, given the production’s inclusion of British Sign Language (BSL) into the choreography. The audition process will take place at selected regional workshops, detailed at: www.mettatheatre.co.uk/workshops
In The Willows transforms Kenneth Grahame’s well-loved tale into a thrilling new musical, written and directed by Poppy Burton-Morgan (Jungle Book, UK & International Tour), with music from award-winning composer Pippa Cleary (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Chocolate Factory; Prodigy, St James Theatre) and groundbreaking Composer Keiran Merrick, set and lighting design by William Reynolds, costume design by Ryan Dawson Laight (Blak Whyte Gray, Barbican), and with choreography from Rhimes Lecointe.
After their smash hit street-dance Jungle Book and circus-musical Little Mermaid, the award-winning Metta Theatre bring you a bold new take on this much-loved classic. Metta Theatre is at the forefront of cross-art-form theatre practice, known for combining emotionally powerful performances with imaginative theatricality and striking visual style. Metta Theatre is one of the UK’s leading mid-scale touring companies – making exceptional theatre and opera that represents and celebrates the diversity of our world.
22 February – 2 March Exeter, Northcott Theatre
7 – 9 March Portsmouth, New Theatre Royal
20 – 23 March Coventry, Belgrade Theatre
27 – 30 March Edinburgh, Festival Theatre
2 – 6 April Keswick, Theatre by the Lake
9 – 10 April Oxford, Oxford Playhouse
16 – 20 April York, York Theatre Royal
24 – 27 April Malvern Forum
1 – 4 May Blackpool, The Grand Theatre
9 – 11 May Wimbledon, New Wimbledon Theatre
22 – 26 May Hornchurch, Queens Theatre Hornchurch
29 May – 1 June Bristol, Bristol Old Vic
FOLLOW WEST END WILMA