In The Willows The Festival Theatre Edinburgh Review Wednesday 27th March 2019

With Edinburgh Entertainment & Arts

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In the Willows, produced in association with Exeter Northcott Theatre, is at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh from 27th to 30th March. This is an exciting new musical, with great songs with fast and energetic dance, starring Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe (music by Pippa Cleary, and music and lyrics by Keiran Merck).

It's Mole’s first day at ‘The Willows’ high school. Her classmates are a wee bit scary and Mole is nervous.  Mr Badger her teacher will try and help her and asks Ratty to look out for her; with the help of rich kid Toad and cheeky Otter they try and teach her the ways of The Riverbank.  But when Toad gets locked up for joyriding, the Weasel Clan break into his pad.  It's now only a matter of time before Chief Weasel reveals Mole’s dark secret...

With not an anthropomorphised animal in sight, the cast do a superb job of taking on the character traits of the original Kenneth Grahame story but set in a modern city environment. We both enjoyed the first act in which we got to know the characters but really liked the second act as it picked up the pace and Mole developed into a more confident person. The set was great and the transition from one scene to another was well done.  I also liked the use of distinct lighting and colours to set the mood and tone of each piece.

Writer/director Poppy Burton-Morgan has transformed this classic story into a contemporary dance musical, featuring original catchy tunes, beats and some excellent break dancing.

Both Earl and I enjoyed the show and were engaged throughout the performance.

 

Reviewers Earl and Donald.

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