Metta Theatre has released the studio album for hip hop musical In the Willows.

Released in collaboration with Perfect Pitch, the studio album for the hip hop musical is available to listen to now having been produced remotely during October and November 2020.

Available to listen to via Spotify, iTunes and other digital media, a music video of ‘Head Above Water’ choreographed and starring deaf dancer Chris Fonseca, who starred in the original production has also been released.

In the Willows is based on Kenneth Grahame’s beloved story, transformed into a hip-hop musical written and directed by P Burton-Morgan (Little Mermaid UK Tour, Jungle Book UK & International Tour). The musical features  music and additional lyrics from award-winning composer Pippa Cleary (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Ambassadors Theatre; Prodigy, St James Theatre) and groundbreaking hip-hop Composer Keiran Merrick. 

In the Willows transposes Kenneth Grahame’s bucolic animal fable to an urban British Comprehensive school ‘The Willows’ and surrounding estates. It’s Mole’s first day – she is taken under the wing of hip-hop cool girl Rattie, her boyfriend Otter and the bling laden, rich-kid rapper Toad. A series of adventures ensue in which Mole learns both how to make friends and how to lose them – but ultimately how to find her voice and finally speak up about her troubled past. Simultaneously uplifting and politically provocative, we hope to give a voice to a group of young people rarely represented on our stages.

Amongst the performers on the album is Olivier award-winning actor, Clive Rowe – who starred in the 2019 touring production of the show as ‘Badger’ and has just been appointed as Metta Theatre’s new Patron.

Clive Rowe said, “I’m incredibly honoured to have been asked to become a patron of the Metta Theatre company. Its drive, diversity, and constant pursuit of focused truthful work is a breath of fresh air and at its heart P Burton Morgan strives tirelessly to create new innovative and expressive work. I only hope that my patronage will in some way go to shine an even brighter light on this wonderful company.”

He is joined on the album by former cast member Harry Jardine (Shakespeare in Love, Les Miserables) as well as Hiba Elchikhe (Aladdin, Ghost the Musical),Sharon Rose (Hamilton, Motown The Musical) and Tim Mahendran (& Juliet, Spring Awakening).

Talking about the news, Andy Barnes, producer at Perfect Pitch who support and develop new musicals said, “It has been a pleasure to partner with Metta Theatre to put this EP together during lockdown – a much-needed creative outlet for the team during a difficult time. We have been honoured to work with many fabulous performers, musicians, and a fantastic team of writers who worked tirelessly to ensure we found the right sound across a varied landscape of musical styles. We’re excited to share it with you.”