Actor and TV presenter Tony Robinson will make his first stage appearance for 16 years when he stars as Kenneth Grahame in the West End transfer of The Wind In The Willows this Christmas.
The Blackadder star, who will narrate the production in the role of the much-loved tale’s Scottish author, is well-known as the face of Channel 4 archaeology series Time Team. While he is best known for his screen roles, which have also included television series My Wonderful Life and Maid Marian And Her Merry Men, Robinson made his West End debut in Olivier! at the age of 12 before going on to appear in productions at Chichester Festival Theatre, the National Theatre and in the West End.
Robinson is joined in the cast by Will Kemp, who will reprise his role as Ratty in Will Tuckett’s acclaimed production following his performance at the Royal Opera House, where the children’s classic about four woodland friends has played numerous runs. The actor and dancer, whose other appearances at the iconic opera and dance venue include Peter And The Wolf, Pinocchio and The Soldier’s Tale, previously performed on the West End stage opposite Daniel Radcliffe in the 2007 production of Equus.
Completing the cast are Cris Penfold (Toad), Christopher Akrill (Badger), Clemmie Sveaas (Mole), Ewan Wardrop, Paul James Rooney, Kayleigh Gore, Connor Dowling, Kirsty Mather, Anna Martine, Jo Meredith and Aron Wild.
Combining music, dance and puppetry, The Wind In The Willows brings to life Grahame’s popular story about the quartet of creatures whose tranquil riverbank home is disrupted by a speeding car, galloping caravan, racing train and criminal deeds being cooked up in the depths of the Wild Wood.
The festive offering, which will become the first production to commercially transfer from the Royal Opera House, will play at the Duchess theatre from 11 December to 1 February following another West End transfer, The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui, which plays at the venue until 7 December after an acclaimed run at Chichester Festival Theatre.