Denise Welch among stars wishing Jarrow Musical Theatre Company good luck as they get set to wow South Tyneside with new show Wind in the Willows

The cast of Wind and the Willows .L to R: Frances Wood, Joseph Coulson, Margaret Gray, Ken Richardson, Lawrence Clark'Front: David Bruce.
The cast of Wind and the Willows .L to R: Frances Wood, Joseph Coulson, Margaret Gray, Ken Richardson, Lawrence Clark'Front: David Bruce.

Families can expect to be blown away when a South Tyneside theatre group performs show Wind in the Willows.

Jarrow Musical Theatre Company kicked off its latest production at Jarrow Focus, Cambrian Street, on Wednesday, bringing the classic tale to life for audiences in the borough.

The show will run until Saturday, May 18, featuring a live band, along with a stunning set and lighting from Hi-Lights - the company behind Durham Lumiere.

The traditional tale, has been updated by Downton Abbey writer Jullian Fellows, who brought the show to London’s Palladium.

And now Jarrow Musical Theatre Company have taken on the updated classic, with the cast featuring local people aged from as young as eight to those in their 70s.

Music and Lyrics have been produced by Anthony Drewe and George Stiles, while the show has been directed by Michelle Coulson.

Jarrow Musical Theatre Company is putting on show Wind and the Willows. L-R: Lawrence Clark, Margaret Gray, Frances Wood, Joseph Coulson, Ken Richardson.

Jarrow Musical Theatre Company is putting on show Wind and the Willows. L-R: Lawrence Clark, Margaret Gray, Frances Wood, Joseph Coulson, Ken Richardson.

Musical director Freda Carney and choreographer Kirsty Jeffrey have also helped to make the show engaging for all ages.

Meanwhile the cast is made up of David Bruce, who plays the Toad, Frances Wood as Mole, Joseph Coulson as Rat, Lawrence Clark as Badger and Ken Richardson as Weasel.

Margaret Gray takes on the role of Mrs Otter.

Stage crew member Jillaine Reay Hindson said: “It is a lovely tale that is suitable for all ages.

Joseph Coulson as Rat, Frances Wood as Mole, and Margaret Gray as Mrs Otter.

Joseph Coulson as Rat, Frances Wood as Mole, and Margaret Gray as Mrs Otter.

“It is a family show based on the traditional story of Wind and the Willows but this is based on the new book by Julian Fellowes.

“We have been working on the show since January and we can’t wait to put on the stage.
“It is a big production and the scenery and costumes are beautiful.”

She added: “We have even had some good luck messages from West End stars including Denise Welch on Twitter, who played Mrs Otter and Rufus Hound the comedian, who played the Toad, so we are over the moon.”

The show will run from 7pm on Thursday and Friday, a matinee will be held at 1pm on Saturday and an evening show will start at 5.30pm.

David Bruce, who plays the Toad in Wind and the Willows.

David Bruce, who plays the Toad in Wind and the Willows.

Tickets are £8 on Thursday and £10 on Friday and Saturday.

They can be bought on the door or in advance at: www.ticketsource.co.uk/jarrowmusicaltheatrecompany

Lawrence Clark as Badger.

Lawrence Clark as Badger.