How Did London Critics Review the New Musical The Wind in the Willows?

The Verdict   How Did London Critics Review the New Musical The Wind in the Willows? Rufus Hound stars as Mr. Toad in the new Drew and Stiles musical at the London Palladium.
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Gary Wilmot, Denise Welch, Rufus Hound, Simon Lipkin, and Craig Mather Marc Brenner

The new West End musical The Wind in the Willows, featuring a book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, music by George Stiles, and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, officially opened June 29 at the London Palladium. The musical reunites the trio, who previously collaborated on Disney’s stage adaptation of Mary Poppins, and the current hit West End musical Half a Sixpence.

Based on Kenneth Grahame's novel, the musical is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and features choreography by Aletta Collins.

The cast is led by Rufus Hound as the amazing Mr. Toad, with Simon Lipkin as Rat and Craig Mather as Mole, EastEnders actor Neil McDermott as Chief Weasel, Coronation Street star Denise Welch as Mrs. Otter, and Gary Wilmot as Badger.

Read reviews below. Playbill will continue to update.

The Arts Desk (David Benedict)

Exeunt Magazine (Stewart Pringle)

The Guardian (Michael Billington)

The Evening Standard (Henry Hitchings)

Huffington Post (David Finkle)

Radio Times (Ben Dowell)

The Stage (Tim Bano)

The Telegraph (Dominic Cavendish)

The Times (Ann Treneman)

The Upcoming (Jim Compton-Hall)

Flip through production photos below:

Rounding out the company are Chris Aukett, Joel Baylis, Jenna Boyd, Abigail Brodie, Abigail Climer, Jorell Coiffic-Kamall, Nicole Deon, Emilie du Leslay, Joshua Gannon, James Gant, Evan James, Michael Larcombe, Bethany Linsdell, Ryan Pidgen, Adam Vaughan, Georgie Westall and Natalie Woods. The cast album also features Dylan Mason, Patrick Sullivan, and Karli Vale, who appeared in the show’s pre-London tour.

The musical is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and features choreography by Aletta Collins, set and costume design by Peter McKintosh, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Gareth Owen, wig and makeup design by Linda McKnight, orchestrations by Chris Jahnke and David Shrubsole, and musical supervision by Simon Lee.

Based on Grahame's novel, the 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.

Visit windinthewillowsthemusical.com.

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