Bury St Edmunds Operatic and Dramatic Society (BSEODS) is coming out of hibernation this spring and is returning with The Wind in the Willows.
The society, which turns one hundred and twenty this year, brings the musical to the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds on 10-14 May. Based on the children’s classic of the same name by Kenneth Grahame, it sees woodland friends Badger, Ratty, and Mole dig their boisterous and spontaneous companion Toad out of trouble.
The slapstick story, suitable for adults and children alike, follows Toad whose insatiable love for the motorcar gets him in a spot of bother with the law. His misadventures result in his beloved Toad Hall being taken over by the notorious Chief Weasel and his pack of Wild Wooders.
First performed on the West End in 2017 with Rufus Hound playing Toad, The Wind in the Willows musical book is written by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. The songs and music are the creation of Olivier Award-winning composer and lyricist George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
Caroline Ranson, who manages Stagecoach in the town, is making her debut with the society as co-director alongside Lou Petch. “I’m delighted to be co-directing and bringing this well-loved story to life on stage with such a great cast. We know the story well as adults, so it’s amazing to see it performed with comedic and toe-tapping songs and a heart-warming plot.”
Nicholas Sheehan is once again BSEODS’ Musical Director after joining the society last year in the same role for The Addams Family. “The score is quintessentially British, with a huge range of musical styles which, played by our band of professionals with decades of experience, helps build a witty re-telling of this classic story about friendship and adventure with a great ‘poop-poop’!” Of all the songs, my favourite has got to be A Friend is Still a Friend; it’s a glorious anthem for the show with such truthful lyrics.”