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Dowton Abbey creator to stage Wind In Willows

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Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes will be relocating to Toad Hall after he signed up to write a musical based on the children's classic The Wind In The Willows.

Fellowes, who won an Oscar for his Gosford Park screenplay, will reunite with composer and lyricist duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe on the show almost 10 years after they wrote the Mary Poppins musical together.

He said: "The Wind In The Willows is one of our greatest classics, and as true and entertaining now as it has ever been. I am delighted and tremendously flattered to have been asked to write the book for the new musical. In fact, I suspect this is something I've been wanting to do subconsciously for many years."

The musical, which will be staged in London's West End, will be based on Kenneth Grahame's 1908 classic about Mole, Ratty, Badger and Mr Toad's adventures on the riverbank.

It was turned into a play, called Toad Of Toad Hall, by AA Milne in 1929.

Stiles said: "Ever since working with Julian on Mary Poppins, the three of us have been looking for a new project.

"We all celebrate our English roots as writers, and the musical possibilities of Kenneth Grahame's classic chime very strongly with me.

"The book itself is packed with music and songs so I can't wait to find the sounds to score Ratty, Mole, Badger, Toad and their adventures."