Sadly, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, THE WICKER HUSBAND closed just after its official opening night on March 16th. After years of development and the combined work of so many creatives of all disciplines, it was a devastating blow.

But all is not lost.

The set, costumes and puppets of the Watermill production remain in storage, and though there are uncertain times ahead, we will be putting all our efforts into returning to the stage as soon as we have the opportunity.

Watch this space.
Rhys : )

book by Rhys Jennings
music and lyrics by Darren Clark
based on an original short story by Ursula Wills-Jones

 

THE WATERMILL THEATRE

 

12TH MARCH - 4TH APRIL* 2020

"Once upon a withy on the edge of a deep damp swamp, nestled in the arms of a winding river, stood a pretty little town…"

A folk-inspired new musical, The Wicker Husband tells the timeless tale of the outsider.

In a superficial world, where beauty is only skin-deep, meet the so-called ‘Ugly Girl’.

Ostracised by the shallow townsfolk because she doesn’t fit in, the Ugly Girl becomes the envy of her neighbours when the mysterious Old Basketmaker makes her a strong and loving husband woven from living wicker. As bitter rivalry and jealousy threaten to tear the community apart, the townsfolk embark on a cruel and destructive plan. Will the Ugly Girl’s happiness be ruined forever?

A captivating and powerful new musical, The Wicker Husband will have its world premiere at The Watermill. It was the winner of the inaugural MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award in 2016 celebrating new British musical theatre writers and was included in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s 30th Annual Festival of New Musicals in New York.

This production contains some strong language. Age guidance 10+

*sadly, this run was cut short by the outbreak of COVID-19 and the last performance took place on March 16th. 

PRODUCTION

Production Photography by Johan Persson - http://perssonphotography.com/

Julian Forsyth as THE OLD BASKETMAKER - Photo by Johan Persson
Laura Johnson as THE UGLY GIRL - Photo by Johan Persson
Laura Johnson and Scarlet Wilderink as BASKET THE DOG - Photo by Johan Persson
THE WICKER HUSBAND with puppeteers Yazdan Qafouri and Eilon Morris - Photo by Johan Persson
Laura Johnson as THE UGLY GIRL - Photo by Johan Persson
Scarlet Wilderink as BASKET and Julian Forsyth as THE OLD BASKETMAKER - Photo by Johan Persson
Scarlet Wilderink, Jonathan Charles (INNKEEPER) and Claire-Marie Hall (INNKEEPER'S WIFE) - Photo by Johan Persson
THE UGLY GIRL and her WICKER HUSBAND - Photo by Johan Persson
Zoë Rainey, Angela Caesar and Claire-Marie Hall as TAILOR'S WIFE, COBBLER'S WIFE and INNKEEPER'S WIFE - Photo by Johan Persson
Laura Johnson as THE UGLY GIRL - Photo by Johan Persson
Cast includes Jonathan Charles, Jon Whitten, Yazdan Qafouri, Jack Beale and Laura Johnson - Photo by Johan Persson
THE WICKER HUSBAND (Qafouri, Morris and Wilderink) with Laura Johnson as THE UGLY GIRL - Photo by Johan Persson
Cast of The Wicker Husband - Photo by Johan Persson
Zoë Rainey as THE TAILOR'S WIFE - Photo by Johan Persson
Stephen Leask as THE COBBLER - Photo by Johan Persson
THER WICKER HUSBAND and THE UGLY GIRL at the Summer Dance - Photo by Johan Persson
Laura Johnson as THE UGLY GIRL - Photo by Johan Persson
"I were made to hold you" THE WICKER HUSBAND - Photo by Johan Persson
Jack Beale as THE TAILOR - Photo by Johan Persson
Zoë Rainey as The TAILOR'S WIFE singing "The Sparrow's Tale" - Photo by Johan Persson
Laura Johnson as THE UGLY GIRL singing "Have You Seen My Husband" - Photo by Johan Persson
Laura Johnson as THE UGLY GIRL - Photo by Johan Persson
Laura Johnson as THE UGLY GIRL - Photo by Johan Persson
The UGLY GIRL with her WICKER HUSBAND - Photo by Johan Persson
Claire-Marie Hall as INNKEEPER'S WIFE - Photo by Johan Persson
The Cast of The Wicker Husband - Photo by Johan Persson
Laura Johnson (THE UGLY GIRL) with the WICKER HUSBAND (designed by Finn Caldwell) - Photo by Johan Persson
Cast Creatives

INSIDE REHEARSALS

Rehearsal Photography by Pamela Raith - http://pamelaraith.com/

Yazdan Quafouri and Finn Caldwell - Photo by Pamela Raith
Scarlet Wilderink - Photo by Pamela Raith
Jack Beale - Photo by Pamela Raith
Laura Johnson - Photo by Pamela Raith
Jonathan Charles - Photo by Pamela Raith
Claire-Marie Hall and Angela Caesar - Photo by Pamela Raith
Zoë Rainey and Laura Johnson - Photo by Pamela Raith
Scarlet Wilderink and Pat Moran - Photo by Pamela Raith
Yazdan Qafouri, Scarlet Wilderink and Eilon Morris - Photo by Pamela Raith

SONGS FROM THE WICKER HUSBAND

My Wicker Man

Sung by Alex Young

Beneath her willow tree, the Ugly Girl imagines life with someone by her side.

Heart of the Weave

Sung by Clive Rowe and Alex Young

Deep in the swamp, the Ugly Girl meets The Old Basketmaker and his curious wicker dog called Basket.

The Sparrow's Tale

Sung by Rebecca Trehearn

The Tailor's Wife visits the Old Basketmaker in the swamp to ask him to weave her a child.

Have You Seen My Husband

Sung by Alex Young

The Ugly Girl searches for her husband in the wild wood.

I'll Supply the Withy

Sung by Tyrone Huntley

The Wicker Husband reveals how and why he was made.

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

In 2018, The Wicker Husband was selected from over 223 international musicals as one of 8 to be showcased at the prestigious NAMT Festival of New Musicals in New York.

Featuring leading Broadway actors including Kerstin Anderson (My Fair Lady, Sound of Music), Jordan Donica (Hamilton, My Fair Lady) and Motown legend Clifton Davis (Aladdin) the showcase garnered much interest in a post-Watermill US production or transfer.

That same year, four songs from the show were selected as finalists in the Fred Ebb Musical Theatre Award in the USA

In 2016 The Wicker Husband was the winner of the MTI Stiles & Drewe Mentorship Award, which provided a year of one-to-one writing support from George Stiles and Anthony Drewe and culminating in an industry showcase with leading West End actors including Clive Rowe, Rebecca Trehearn and Tyrone Huntley at The Other Palace, London in 2017.

Also in 2016, the show was one of four finalists for the KSF Artist of Choice. My Wicker Man (a song from the show) was a finalist for the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Prize and the show was awarded the Dunedin Operatic Executive Trust Award and the Little Angel Incubate Award.

The show has been workshopped with leading UK drama schools including the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Early dramaturgical workshops also included work at the Unicorn Theatre.

Development Logos
thanks

A huge thank you to all our supporters, backers, investors, patrons, mentors and workshop participants who have helped us on our journey. Without our large brilliant Wicker Family we simply wouldn't have made it this far...

Deep breath...
Abigail Parmenter, Adam Lenson, Adena Cahill, Alex Kanefsky, Alex Young, Alice So, Alison McDonald, Amy Draper, Andy Munro, Angela McNoe, Ann McNulty, Anne-Marie Piazza, Anthony Drewe, Aran Jennings, Ashleigh Cheadle, Becci Cregan, Beth Warnock, Boots UK, Brendan Matthew, Brian Cali, Cafe Rouge, Candice Sengillo, Carly Bawden, Caroline Harmer, Carole Jennings, Carolyn Forsyth, Casting Workshops, Charlotte Westenra, Chris Aukett, Chris Wootton, Christine Bramwell, Ciera Iveson, Clifton Davis, Clive Rowe, Connor Hughes, Corey Jones, Craig Glenday, Dafydd Gape, Dafydd Weeks, Dave Bond, Dave Wright, David Hunter, Dean Nolan, Debby Jennings, Debbie Kurup, Doreen Jennings, Dramanic, Dunedin Operatic Trust, Eilon Morris, Ellie Pawsey, Elexi Walker, Elliott Morris, Fiona Costley, Frantasticview, Gavin Glover, George Stiles, Geri Allen, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Hammed Animashaun, Hannah Roper, Helen Foan, Hilary Burns, Indiegogo, IRIS Theatre, Jack Monaghan, James Hadley, Jamal Andréas, Jen Healy, Jennifer Ruth-Adams, Jerwood Space, Jez Bond, Jim Arnold, Joanne Harris, Jon Bradfield, Jonathan Radford, Jon Whitten, Jordan Donica, Jordan Scott-Turner, JBR, Josh Sinclair Evans, Josh Sneesby, Joshua LeClair, Joshua McCord, Judith Needham, Julian Freeman, Kerry Gooderson, Karl Jennings, Katie Brayben, Kay Clancy, Kerstin Anderson, Landor Theatre, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Laura Wickham, Lauren Blackman, Leejay Townsend, Lettie Graham, Liz Dyer, Liz Lawson, Loren O'Dair, Maisie Turpie, Marc Antolin, Mark Aspinall, Marilyn Le Conte, Matthew Cole, Matthew Schmolle, Mei Mac, Mercury Musical Developments, Mervyn Millar, Michael Peavoy, Michael Taylor Matus, MTI Europe, Musical Theatre Network, Natalie Charle Ellis, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Neil Jennings, Noxon Pond Cottage, Ollie Powell, Paper Balloon Theatre, Perfect Pitch, Perry Lambert, Peter Huntley, Pippa Ailion, Purni Morell, Rachel Cox, Rachel Dawson, Rachel Salenius, Rebecca Trehearn, Rhonda Kohl, Richard Heap, Rob Cook, Rob Rule, Roger Evans, Rosie Archer, Ross Hoey, Roy Gill, Ruairi Glasheen, RWCMD, Ryan Duncan, Samuel Black Photography, Sarah Argent, Sarah Bird, Sara Healy, Sarah O'Neill, Scott Matthewman, Sebastien Torkia, Shaun Morton, Simon Lipkin, Slavka Jovanovic, Stagey Lady, Stella & Jim Clancy, Stephen Beresford, Stiofàn O’Doherty, Sufia Manya, Susanah Pearse, Susie Riddell, The Actor's Centre, The Actor's Guild, The Actors Church, Theatrebench, The Blog of Theatre Things, The Little Angel Theatre, The Other Palace Theatre, The Society of London Theatre, The Stephen Sondheim Society, The Wells Way Pop Up, Theataccounts, Theo Jamieson, Tina Foote, Todd A Horman, Tom Corbishley, Tom Cullen, Tracee Beazer, Tyrone Huntley, Unicorn Theatre, Ursula Wills-Jones, Viv Care, VoiceBox Productions, VoiceReels.co.uk, Waterstones, Will Cousins, Yasmin Lewis.
*This list is a work in progress. If you have been involved in any of our workshops or have supported us throughout the years I would love to include you in this list, so please do get in touch