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Thursday, 4 February 2021

REVIEW: Studio Cast Ep of 'In the Willows'

In 2019 the new musical In the Willows toured a dozen or so UK Venues to good reviews and although I missed the tour, I was delighted to hear the new six track EP that has just been released featuring some of the touring cast including one of my favourite musical comedy actors Clive Rowe as Badger. Written by P Burton- Morgan with music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary (who also wrote the musical version of The Secret diary of Adrian Mole) and composer Kieran Merrick, it is a modern energetic tale based on the Kenneth Grahame’s famous novel but transposing the characters to a British comprehensive school, The Willows, and the surrounding area. It gives the story a fresh real life setting and challenges a young audience to find their own voice and be open about who they are and their past. It is not to be confused with Julian Fellows Wind in the Willows Musical which is a more traditional retelling of the original stories.

Of course, on a six track EP the full story is hidden, and the characters hinted at rather than fleshed out, but it whets your appetite to see the full show when it next tours or transfers into the West End. No doubt during lockdown many new musicals have been developed and will be seeking finance to be fully staged but this one is surely ahead of the queue having already toured smaller UK venues and the EP shines a light on the exciting and distinctive musical style which seems to borrow from Hamilton and Six, two of the most recent West End stage successes.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Clive Rowe to star in Hackney Empire 2014 pantomime Mother Goose

Celebrated grande dame of pantomime Clive Rowe will make his much-anticipated return to Hackney Empire this Christmas in Mother Goose. Rowe will star in the title role, for which he received an Olivier Award-nomination in 2008.  
Olivier Award-winning actress Sharon D Clarke will play the good enchantress Charity opposite Rowe in this glittering celebration of inner beauty.  

Both Rowe and Clarke return to Hackney Empire after starring in the critically acclaimed Blues In the Night here earlier this year. They will appear in London’s number one pantomime following previous starring roles; Rowe was last seen in a  Hackney Pantomime as Dame Daisy in Jack and the Beanstalk in 2010 and Clarke returns after 2013’s Puss in BootsMother Goose will again be directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Susie McKenna with music by Steven Edis. The production will run at Hackney Empire from 22 November 2014 to 4 January 2015.
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