Jamie Hendry and MJE Productions, in association with Theatre Royal Plymouth, have today (June 17) announced the casting for major new musical theatre adaptation of The Wind in the Willows.

Rufus Hound

Rufus Hound

Opening at Theatre Royal in Plymouth from October 8 before it heads to The Lowry on its world premiere tour, it's been revealed that comedian, actor and presenter Rufus Hound will be starring as loveable menace Mr Toad.

Irish actor and singer Fra Fee will play Mole, with Downton Abbey's Thomas Howes as Ratty, EastEnders bad-boy and Shrek star Neil McDermott as Chief Weasel and Sophia Nomvete as Mrs Otter.

Hound says of the announcement: "I - like so many of us - was weaned on The Wind in the Willows, so this is an incredibly special opportunity. Bringing these adventures to a brand new audience is almost as exciting as a gleaming new motorcar. Roll on rehearsals! Poop poop!"

Further casting is yet to be announced, but the full cast will include 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.

Based on the much-loved novel by Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows has captivated audiences for over a century and has been adapted for the theatre stage with a book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and lyricist duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

Having previously working together on international hit musical Mary Poppins, which ran for three years in the West End and six years on Broadway, the trio have some fantastic credits to their name.

Fellowes comments: "This new adaptation has been such a joy to write, and we have pulled together a really marvellous array of extraordinary talent in casting the production. I've no doubt that our actors are going to have the time of their lives taking these memorable characters on the journey from page to stage. I hope and believe the audience will have a lot of fun!"

The Wind in the Willows comes to the Lowry Lyric Theatre from October 27 to November 6 later this year.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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