Willows musical offers public participation

Published November 12, 2013

West End producer Jamie Hendry is giving theatre-loving members of the public a chance to invest in a new musical adaptation of The Wind In The Willows, written by Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes.

The crowd-funding scheme gives fans of the stage, or of Kenneth Grahame’s iconic English tale, the opportunity to put between £1,000 and £5,000 into the musical that will cost £6.5 million to produce.

The story of woodland creatures and the antics of Mr Toad reunites Fellowes with musical duo Stiles and Drewe, with whom he previously scored a hit on the stage adaptation of Mary Poppins, which ran in the West End for three years and on Broadway for double that time.

Speaking about the investment opportunity, Hendry said: “Kenneth Grahame’s classic is such an iconic piece of British literary heritage that we are thrilled to have created the means for as many people as possible to own a stake in this new adaptation. Traditionally commercial theatre investment has only been available to a small group of individuals from whom significant funding has already been secured.

Crowd funding has become a growing trend in the arts, however this scheme converts the idea into a financial investment with potential for return. Given the national ownership of the piece, I am delighted to reserve a limited 10% of the Capitalisation for individual investors in amounts from as little as £1,000.”

Hendry, a graduate of the Stage One Apprentice Scheme supported by Society of London Theatre, which also runs this website, has worked on a string of West End hits including Spring Awakening, Legally Blonde The Musical and current Beatles concert extravaganza Let It Be.