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The Wind in the Willows announces London Palladium run

Rufus Hound as Mr Toad. Photo: Marc Brenner
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Stiles and Drewe musical The Wind in the Willows will transfer to the London Palladium next summer.

The show opened earlier this year at the Theatre Royal Plymouth and is currently running at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton.

It will open at the London Palladium on June 29, with previews from June 17.

Rufus Hound, currently playing Mr Toad in the musical, will appear in the London run.

Rachel Kavanaugh directs the production, which has music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, and a book by Julian Fellowes.

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.”

The show is co-produced by Jamie Hendry, who announced he would be sending free copies of Kenneth Grahame’s novel to every school and library in London.

“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,” he added.

The musical has choreography by Aletta Collins, with design by Peter McKintosh, lighting by Howard Harrison and sound by Gareth Owen. Wigs and make-up are by Linda McKnight.

The show is produced by Hendry with MJE Productions and Josh Gilinski, in association with the Theatre Royal Plymouth.

It is booking until September 9, 2017.

The West End transfer follows a public investment scheme launched for the show, which saw £1 million raised.

The London Palladium previously announced it was to focus on variety, rather than long-running productions.

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