Tuesday, August 16

Wilton’s Music Hall announce exciting and ambitious autumn season

Today Wilton’s Music Hall announces a magnificent Autumn season for August-December 2022, with an impressive array of world-class theatre, music, comedy and opera in collaboration with a variety of distinguished production companies and talent.

London’s most festive venue is thrilled to present the world premiere of The Wind in the Willows Wilton’s [24th November – 31st December] for its Christmas spectacular. This brand-new adaptation written by Piers Torday (The Last Wild series), is based on Kenneth Grahame’s much loved The Wind in the Willows and set in modern-day London. The Wind in the Willows Wilton’s is a fun, festive show for all the family, bringing up-to-date the Edwardian original with a playful wit and charm, with our heroes tackling modern-day climate issues (although Toad seems less keen), offering a tale of sustainable hope. There will be songs, puppetry and all the favourite characters will be there – Ratty, Mole, Badger, Toad and the Weasels. Not to mention a picnic or two…

Piers Torday is teaming up with director Elizabeth Freestone and designer Tom Piper, with original songs by Piers Torday and Chris Warner, lighting by Zoe Spurr, movement by Emma Brunton and puppets by Sam Wyer.

Hot on the heels of a sensational run in New York, the critically acclaimed, genre-defying new show Only an Octave Apart makes its UK debut at Wilton’s (28th September–22nd October) starring Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo. Carving a new pathway between opera and politically subversive cabaret, this joyous and surprising musical fantasia revels in everything strange and beautiful in the coexistence of contrasts from Purcell’s 17th century aria “Dido’s Lament” to Dido’s early 2000s hit “White Flag”, from “Autumn Leaves” to “The Waters of March. Celebrating the historical and the hysterical, from countertenor to counterculture, Only An Octave Apart is co-created and directed by Zack Winokur, with music supervision by Thomas Bartlett, arrangements by Nico Muhly, musical direction by Daniel Schlosberg, and unique costume design by JW Anderson.  Presented by Kindred Partners and Creative Partners Productions in association with Justin Vivian Bond, Anthony Roth Costanzo and Zack Winokur.

For those seeking drama, Fuel presents the world premiere of David Farr’s new play A Dead Body in Taos [26th October – 12th November]: part mystery, part sci-fi epic in an intimate study of loss and bereavement.  A 70-year-old woman, Kath Horvath, is found dead in a New Mexico desert and on her body the police find a cryptic message for her daughter Sam. The play tells Sam’s story as she travels to the small town of Taos to bury her estranged mother, along the way uncovering her traumatic past. Directed by Rachel Bagshaw, designed by Ti Green, with video design by Sarah Readman, and the cast features Gemma Lawrence as Sam and Eve Ponsonby as Kath. A Dead Body in Taos is co-commissioned by Fuel and Warwick Arts Centre with support from Bristol Old Vic and Arts Council England.

Bringing world-class music and a brand-new show to the Wilton’s stage, the legendary Olivier award winning and Grammy nominated post-punk, cult cabaret super stars the Tiger Lillies return with a new narrative concert; The Last Days of Mankind [06th – 17th September]. First published over a hundred years ago, The Last Days of Mankind is one of the most important works by the fearless Austrian satirical writer Karl Kraus.  Martyn Jacques, founder of The Tiger Lillies, has written a new suite of songs inspired by the biting sarcasm and absurdity, the black humour and inhumanity of these original works.

For a night of laughs, Phil McIntyre Live Ltd presents Harry Hill: Experiments in Entertainment 3 [20th – 24th September]. The three-time British Comedy Award winner and star of Harry’s Hill TV Burp is sure to bring a hilarious show to Wilton’s Music Hall which will leave the house howling.

Providing more family-friendly entertainment is Attenborough and his Animals [30th August – 03rd September], presented by Seabright Productions Ltd and Clownfish, bringing the magic of David Attenborough live to the stage. Incorporating an epic display of clowning and physical theatre, two hapless fools recreate wonderful scenes of the natural world including a vast range of animals from blue whales to racer snakes and iguanas. Co-produced and created by Jess Clough-McRae and Jonathan Tilley, Clownfish recently played their second Adelaide Fringe with an updated version of the hit show.

The new season also includes the very best in world-class opera, with Charles Court Opera presenting Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience [24th-26th August]. Brimming with biting humour, over the top characters, and music that is by turns toe-tapping and sumptuous, it is a satire of the aesthetic movement that gained the support of Oscar Wilde, which Charles Court Opera brings into the 21st century in this inventive reimagining. Patience is directed by John Savournin, musically directed by David Eaton (the team behind the smash hit The Pirates of Penzance at Opera Holland Park) and designed by Simon Bejer (winner of Best Opera at the Offies).

More music-filled nights are provided by Carradine’s Cockney Sing-along [15th November], which celebrates six years of sell-out performances at Wilton’s with piano-playing host Tom Carradine returning for another uproarious evening of song. Tom will lead in a traditional East End sing-along, including ditties from the Music Hall era, WWI and II, the West End stage and popular songs from across the decades for a good old-fashioned knees-up. And VERYFINE presents the inspiring OneTrackMinds [16th November], returning with another vibrant selection of writers, thinkers and musicians, each presenting a thought-provoking story about that one song that changed their life and is about to leave a lasting impact on yours.

Finally, Poet In The City presents Sappho: Words More Naked Than Flesh [14th November]. Dubbed the ‘Tenth Muse’ by Plato, Greek lyrical poet Sappho has been immortalised as both an icon and an enigma. Sappho’s deeply moving lyrics on sex, love and motherhood continue to captivate listeners and cement her as a symbol of feminist and queer culture. It will be a decadent – dissident – evening of music and revelry evoking the spirit of the world’s first female poet.