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Metta’s In The Willows
24th April 2019 - 27th April 2019
In the Willows
Explosive new British musical, with soaring vocals and spectacular street dance, starring Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe, deaf street dancer Chris Fonseca (The Greatest Dancer), Seann Miley Moore (X Factor) and Matt Knight (Let It Shine).
Mole’s first day in ‘The Willows’. Her classmates look a bit scary. Surely Mr Badger will look out for her, as streetwise Rattie, rich kid Toad and cheeky Otter teach her the ways of The Riverbank. But when Toad gets locked up for joyriding, the Weasel Clan break into his (lily)pad. It’s now only a matter of time before Chief Weasel reveals Mole’s dark secret…
This classic story is brought leaping into the twenty first century, featuring spectacular street dance choreographed by the award-winning Rhimes Lecointe (Associate choreographer for Zoo Nation, and Artistic Director of Boudicea).
With ballads, beats, and backflips, this fresh new musical will be fun for the whole family.
Age guidance 6+
Running time: 2hrs (including 20 minute interval)
★★★★★ “Theatre at its best. Drop everything and go and see it!” Reviewsgate
★★★★★ “Energetic, Vibrant & Evocative” Camilla Joyce Actress – Camilla Joyce
“fabulously catchy music, witty and intelligent lyrics, explosive choreography and searing vocals” British Theatre Guide – Joan Phillips
Production Photographs by Richard Davenport
Rehearsal Photographs by Andrew Ab Photography
Phenomenal energy, singing and talent combined in an engaging show for all ages. Having never left a review before, I strongly recommend it as we left inspired and energised.
Must see! Phenomenal writing & lyrics. Mesmerising high energy performances all round. Incredible street dance, awesome singing. Would love the soundtrack!
Choice Radio Worcester
Metta Theatre are renowned for bringing clever and inventive stage productions to the Malvern stage, having previously displayed their talents with their shows The Jungle Book, Blown Away and Little Mermaid . This time, they have turned their hand to another classic children's novel, Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows. And anyone who has seen their other productions or read the publicity will know already that this is no cosy adaptation of the friends - and enemies - by the riverbank.
The story has been transported into 21st century urban life with a largely hip-hop soundtrack to match. But don't be put off by this - hip-hip is a remarkable good way of telling a story. And this story of Badger, Mole, Toad, Rattie, Otter and others has been transported to The Willows, a school where newbie Mole has problems fitting in amidst this ragtag mix of other creatures, friendly and otherwise. The ways of the Riverbank need to be learned and under teacher Badger's direction (Clive Rowe in very fine voice), Mole is set up with streetwise Rattie (Zara Macintosh) along with cheeky (and very green) Toad and Otter (Chris Fonseca who is himself a deaf street dancer and therefore uses sign language). But Mole (Victoria Boyce) hides a dark secret, known only to the Chief Weasel (Bradley Charles) who is about to reveal it if his demands are not met…
The large cast of characters are not hidden in costumes representing the animals, instead having small touches to indicate this. Except, of course for Toad (Harry Jardine) - a rapping streetwise minor crook and son of a bigger one and appropriately dressed entirely in green with the obligatory gold chain even when riding his scooter (yes, there are scooters on stage too and a washing machine!). He even spends a considerable part of the show in his underpants which had the audience in hysterics!
The story is all about community, acknowledging one's differences and inclusivity and indeed in addition to the first night being a signed performance, one of the songs was performed with the entire cast signing it as they sung. With its mix of hip-hop and more traditional songs and an energetic set of dance routines (and a dance-off competition too), this firmly brings the story up to date and makes it relevant to a new generation whilst at the very least, parents and grandparents can marvel at the skills of the young cast and appreciate that the age-old story which they grew up with can be redeveloped for another audience. It may not be to everyone's taste from the start, but persevere and everyone will go away with a smile on their face.
A fantastically energetic performance that was captivating from the first moment. The voices were superb and conveyed such emotion. Funny, thought provoking and entertaining - The Adaptation was so well written. I think everyone who’s ever been in school could enjoy and relate to this. A truly inspirational production.
My 13 year old daughter and 15 year old friend did the dance lesson with 2 of the cast this afternoon and then we went and watched the show this evening. They (& I) thoroughly enjoyed the show. It was a very modern take in Wind in the Willows with rapping and singing and some fabulous dance moves along with sign language. The cast were enthusiastic and very talented, costumes were bright. This was a particularly good show for dance enthusiasts Shame there weren’t more people their to enjoy it. Highly recommend and will be looking out for future Meta productions.
A must see. Go - you're in for a treat. The cast are incredibly fit and talented. Amazing dancing, fantastic singing, especially Mole. A very tight performance. Never thought we'd enjoy rap but we loved the whole performance. They deserve a bigger audience.
Wonderful show. Enjoyed by grandparents and grandchildren. Fantastic dancing. Impressed by all members of the show. We loved the costumes. Congratulations all!
Absolutely fantastic - wonderfully clever, vibrant, and such such amazing dancing and singing. Go see it when it comes to your town.