Whistle Down the Wind, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical currently playing at the Aldwych Theatre, will end its long run on Jan. 6. The show opened on July 1, 1998, following previews from June 22, and had been booking to April 2001 when the news came last fall that it would close.
The musical—which tried but failed to come to Broadway in 1997, stalling in Washington, D.C.—has a score by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Jim Steinman, and is based on the novel by Mary Hayley Bell and the classic 1961 film, which starred Hayley Mills and Alan Bates. It was produced by Richard Attenborough and was directed by Bryan Forbes. For the stage show, the original story, which was set in rural England, was relocated to 1950s Louisiana in the American Deep South.
The story revolves around three farm children who discover a man hiding in a barn and believe that he is Jesus. It currently stars Laura-Michelle Kelly as the teenaged Swallow and Jerome Pradon is The Man who bewitches her. The cast also features two teams of ten children, aged between nine and fourteen, who alternate performances.
The production is directed by Gale Edwards, who previously worked with Lloyd Webber on Aspects of Love and the revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. Choreography is by Anthony Van Laast, who worked on Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance and the revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium.