In The Willows Open Call

Jan 8 2019 | By More

Audition and Free Hip Hop Workshop

New hip hop musical In The Willows has put out an open casting call for young dancers to join the community chorus when the show comes to the Festival Theatre in March.

In The Willows transforms and updates Kenneth Grahame’s classic story, bringing it leaping into the 21st century with ballads, beats and backflips. It opens its tour in Exeter in February and will use a different unpaid, voluntary community chorus at each of the twelve venues it is visiting.

Dancers at Breakin’ Convention. Festival Theatre 2017. Pic: Phil Wilkinson

Auditions for the Edinburgh dates will take place on Saturday 16 February at the The Studio on Pottorrow and are open to anyone aged between 17 and 25.

The event starts with a free hip-hop dance workshop from leading dancer Sheila Attah, learning routines from the show choreographed by Rhimes Lecointe. The dance class for everyone – beginners welcome – and the event will then open up into an audition format.

The community chorus will perform alongside The Story of Tracey Beaker actor Clive Rowe, who plays Mr Badger, street dancer Chris Fonseca as Otter, Let It Shine singer and performer Matt Knight as Chief Weasel, Katherine Picar as Bitchy Rabbit, and dancer Sean Moon as Snitchy Rabbit.

The story follows Mole’s first day in a new school, 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.

Dark secret

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…

Clive Rowe as Badger. Pic Metta Theatre.

Speaking of the show, Clive Rowe said: “From the moment I was first introduced to In The Willows I knew it was something I had to be a part of – a classic piece of British theatre given the voice and unquenchable energy of the modern generation.

“Crafted with unabashed love and respect by Poppy, Pippa and Keiran it literally takes my breath away.”

The production is encouraging neurodiverse, D/deaf and disabled performers to apply, as the show will incorporate British Sign Language (BSL) into the choreography for a unified live experience for D/deaf and hearing audiences alike.

Writer and director Poppy Burton-Morgan explains, “Representation is at the heart of our storytelling, so we’re thrilled to develop that further in Willows – integrating BSL into the choreography and providing a platform for the extraordinary Chris Fonseca, a deaf street dancer, who plays Otter.

body positive

“The show is also full of trans-positive and body positive role models and we hope that in seeing themselves reflected on stage we’re empowering our audiences as we entertain them.”

In the Willows is written and directed by Poppy Burton-Morgan with music from Pippa Cleary and Keiran Merrick, set and lighting design by William Reynolds, costume design by Ryan Dawson Laight and choreography from Rhimes Lecointe.

Full details of the auditions are available on the website of producers Metta Theatre:, where there is a sign up link for the auditions.

Please Note: The community chorus is an unpaid, voluntary role.


In The Willows Community Chorus Auditions
Saturday 16 February 2019: 2-3.30pm.
The Studio of the Festival Theatre, 22 Pottorrow, Edinburgh, EH8 9BL.
Workshop details:
Sign-up Link for auditions:

In The Willows
Festival Theatre 13/29 Nicolson Street EH8 9FT. Phone booking: 0131 529 6000
Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 March 2019
Evenings: 7pm; Matinee Sat: 2pm.
Details and tickets: Book here.

In The Willows on tour:
22 Feb- 2 Mar Exeter
Northcott Theatre
01392 726363 Book online
7- 9 Mar Portsmouth
New Theatre Royal
023 9264 9000 Book online
20 – 23 Mar Coventry
Belgrade Theatre
024 7655 3055 Book online
27-30 Mar Edinburgh
Festival Theatre
0131 529 6000 Book online
2- 6 Apr Keswick
Theatre by the Lake
017687 74411 Book online
9 -10 Apr Oxford
Oxford Playhouse
01865 305305 Book online
16 – 20 Apr York
York Theatre Royal
01904 623568 Book online
24- 27 Apr Malvern
Malvern Theatres
01684 892277 Book online
30 Apr – 4 May Blackpool
The Grand Theatre
01253 290190 Book online
9- 11 May Wimbledon
New Wimbledon Theatre
0844 871 7615 Book online
22 – 26 May Hornchurch
Queens Theatre Hornchurch
01708 443333 Book online
29 May – 1 Jun Bristol
Bristol Old Vic
0117 987 7877 Book online

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.