Hip Hop Musical, In The Willows Leaps Into The Belgrade Theatre.
Metta Theatre reimagine The Wind in the Willows for the 21st century in a brand new, BSL-integrated show
Coventry audiences will be amongst the first to experience a brand new hip hop musical when Metta Theatre’s and Exeter Northcott Theatre’s In The Willows arrives at the Belgrade Theatre this March.
Packed with familiar faces including The Story of Tracy Beaker star Clive Rowe, The Greatest Dancer’s Chris Fonseca and X Factor 2015 finalist Seann Miley Moore, this innovative British show sees groundbreaking hip hop songwriter Keiran Merrick team up with award-winning musical composer Pippa Cleary to produce an explosive new soundtrack, complemented by choreography from Rhimes Lecointe.
Inspired by Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, the show sees the best-loved children’s novel vividly reimagined for the 21st century, setting its scene in a modern-day secondary school. It’s Mole’s first day in “The Willows” and some of her classmates look a bit rough.
While Mr Badger and streetwise cool girl Rattie do their best to help her settle in, rich kid rapper Toad and the cheeky, street-dancing Otter also reckon they have a thing or two to teach her about the ways of the Riverbank.
But when Toad gets locked up for joyriding and the Weasel Clan break into his pad at Pool Hall, it’s only a matter of time before Chief Weasel reveals Mole’s dark secret…
Featuring soaring vocals and spectacular street dance, In The Willows uses ballads, beats and backflips to bring a classic bang up to date for young audiences today.
By incorporating British Sign Language into the choreography, the production also offers a unified experience for D/deaf and hearing audiences alike. Known for her leading role as Justine in Street Dance 3D and her appearance in Life and Lyrics, choreographer Rhimes Lecointe is Associate Choreographer for Zoo Nation and Artistic Director of Boudicea.
Victoria Boyce stars as Willows newbie Mole, alongside Harry Jardine as Toad and Zara MacIntosh as Rattie. Best known for his role as Norman “Duke” Ellington in CBBC’s The Story of Tracey Beaker, Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe takes on the role of Mr Badger, while Chris Fonseca plays the part of Otter.
After suffering meningitis at a young age, street dancer Chris Fonseca was made deaf in both ears and now dances with the use of a Cochlear Implant in one ear, and the sensation of musical vibrations through his body. In 2010, Chris joined the all deaf dance group, Def Motion. In 2014, he joined Studio 68 dance training academy as a teacher and choreographer. He is now a solo dancer.
Playing the non-binary character Duck is singer and entertainer Seann Miley Moore. Known for his flamboyant style, Seann rose to prominence as a finalist in The X Factor 2015, going to be nominated for the Rising Star Award at the annual British LGBT Awards, and to be named as “one to watch” by Gaytimes Magazine.
Playing Owl is hip hop dancer, choreographer and freestyler Kloe Dean, part of the leading street dance company Boy Blue Entertainment, and leader of her own all female dance collective, Myself UK Dance. Kloe has performed in numerous productions, showcases and competitions in and around the UK, and has appeared on Channel 4, CBBC and Sky.
Completing the cast are Abiola Efunshile as Owl, Matt Knight as Chief Weasel and Katherine Picar and Treasure Iyamu as Bitchy and Twitchy Rabbit.