Sophia Nomvete talks to Frankly My Dear UK about her role at Mrs Otter in new musical THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
The highly anticipated new musical THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS finally makes its way to The Lowry this week and boy, does it look good.
Based on the book 1908 novel by Kenneth Grahame, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS tells the story of four woodland creatures – Ratty, Badger and Mole and Toad – as they embark on a series of adventures and misadventures caused by Toad’s exuberant and insatiable need for speed.
The new British musical, written by DOWNTOWN ABBEY creator Julian Fellowes, features an all-star cast including comedian and actor Rufus Hound as Toad, Fra Fee as Mole, Thomas Howes as Rat and Neil McDermott as Chief Weasel.
Ahead of its world premiere at The Lowry, Frankly My Dear caught up with actress Sophia Nomvete to talk about her role in THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. Following her West End debut as Ulreen in FOOTLOOSE, Nomvete makes a welcome return to musical theatre to play Mrs Otter in the new musical.
“It’s both exciting and challenging” says Nomevete.
“The WIND IN THE WILLOWS is a British classic and the creative team are second to none. From top to bottom, they are just brilliant in terms of what they’ve done. It’s a great production, a great team, a great story and a great part”.
With the book out of copyright, writer Julian Fellowes has been able to build on the original storyline to bring the classic story up-to-date for a modern audience. Alongside THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS favourites Toad, Ratty and Mole, a host of new characters have also been introduced including Mrs Otter, a new female character played by Nomvete and its a part the actress is very keen to get her teeth into.
“It’s so fresh” explains Nomvete.
“I just get to build and play and enjoy this new character and just make something of her.”
“We just wanted to get some girl power in there so they’ve really made her quite prominent which is brilliant because it means that I’ll get to have a completely fresh take.”
“Rachel [Kavanaugh – the director] is absolutely brilliant and really open to ideas. There’s a sense that I’ll be able to create as much as possible, as will everybody else.”
The new musical also sees Julian Fellowes reunite with musician George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe, the trio behind the hit musical MARY POPPINS. Alongside an original score by Stiles and Drewe, the new musical features spectacular stagecraft and a company of over fifty actor-musicians to bring the treasured British classic to life.
“The WIND IN THE WILLOWS for a lot of children, especially British children, is just one of those things that is in the wiring” explains Nomvete.
“You may not remember how it was brought to you in terms of whether you’d seen it or watched the play, or you read it or someone read it to you but it’s just instilled somewhere.”
“You can expect fun, laughter, fantastic music, an array of different characters and some major wow factors.”
“They’ll be a lot of heart and they’ll be a lot of smiles and they’ll be something that everyone can connect to. They [the audience] are going to have an absolutely fantastic time.”
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS makes it world premiere at The Lowry from 27 October to 6 November.