The Wind in the Willows is going on a wild ride to the West End, featuring stage and screen star Tony Robinson in his first appearance treading the boards in 16 years. The whimsical theater adaptation of Kenneth Graham’s popular 1908 children’s novel will transfer to the Duchess Theatre on December 11 and will play a limited engagement through February 1, 2014. Opening night is set for December 16. Directed and choreographed by Will Tuckett, the Royal Opera House production brings the classic story to life with music and dance. Additional puppet design comes courtesy of War Horse's Toby Olie.
Joining Robinson as Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows features Will Kemp (Swan Lake), reprising his role as Ratty, Chris Penfold as Toad, Christopher Akrill as Badger and Clemmie Sveaas as Mole. Other company members include Ewan Wardrop, Paul James Rooney, Kayleigh Gore, Connor Dowling, Kirsty Mather, Anna Martine, Jo Meredith and Aron Wild. The Wind in the Willows originally premiered at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre in 2002.
Robinson is best known as Baldrick on the BBC TV series Blackadder. He also served as the host of TV’s Time Team and The Worst Jobs in History, and appeared in My Wonderful Life, The Real Da Vinci Code, Big Top and Maid Marian and Her Merry Men. His British theater credits include Twelfth Night, Follow the Star, Monsieur Perrichon’s Travels and An Enemy of the People.
The Wind in the Willows highlights the escapades of the hotheaded Toad and his loyal friends in the classic story for all ages. Featuring a score by Martin Ward, the production draws inspiration from the music of Edwardian composer George Butterworth. The adaptation also features narration written by former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Morton and designs by the Quay Brothers and Nicki Gillibrand.