A new musical adaptation of The Wind In The Willows will premiere in London, reuniting the creative team behind the Olivier Award-winning Mary Poppins, Julian Fellowes, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 novel The Wind In The Willows tells the story of four animals, gruff Mr Badger, brave Ratty, timid Mole and the reckless Mr Toad of Toad Hall. Living together on the river bank they find themselves in the middle of an adventure when Mr Toad’s love of speed and excitement lands them in the trouble with the wicked weasels from the nearby Wild Wood.
Downton Abbey creator Fellows will write the musical’s book. The Oscar-winning writer is well known for his period drama film screenplays which include Gosford Park, The Young Victoria and The Importance Of Being Earnest, as well as the hugely successful BBC adaptation of Pride And Prejudice.
Talking about the new production, 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 waiting to do subconsciously for many years.”
Musical writing duo Stiles And Drewe will write the music and lyrics. The pair have worked together for 28 years, creating numerous successful productions including the recent West End hit Betty Blue Eyes, Olivier Award-winning musical Honk!, Just So and Peter Pan.
Commenting on the trio’s professional reunion, Stiles said: “Ever since working with Julian on Mary Poppins, the three of us have been looking for a new project… The book is packed with music and songs so I can’t wait to find the sounds to Ratty, Mole, Badger, Toad and their adventures.”
The Wind In The Willows has yet to confirm dates or a venue for its London premiere.