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Book by Rhys Jennings
Music and lyrics by Darren Clark
Based on an original short story by Ursula Wills-Jones

Thu 12 Mar 2020 - Sat 04 Apr 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

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+
Director Charlotte Westenra
Designer Anna Kelsey
Puppetry Director and Designer Finn Caldwell
Choreographer Steven Harris
Lighting Designer Hartley T A Kemp
Sound Designer Ella Wahlström
Musical Director Pat Moran

Laura Johnson

Ugly Girl

Laura trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where she graduated with a Masters in Musical Theatre in 2015. She also has a BA in Theatre and Performance from the University of Leeds (2012).


Theatre credits include: Sheila in HAIR 50th Anniversary Production (The Vaults and Hope Mill Theatre); Kowalski in Madagascar (UK TOUR); Myth:The Musical (The Other Palace); Rizzo in Grease (Gary Lloyd); Tonah in Vanara: The Musical (Jonathan O’Boyle).

Credits whilst training: Violet in Violet (Charlotte Westenra/Dustin Conrad); Camila Rosario in In The Heights (Ellie Jones/Mark Crossland); Charity in Sweet Charity (Sherrill Gow/Stuart Pedlar); Grandmother/Cinderella's Mother in Into The Woods (Paul- Ryan Carberry) and Marlene in Top Girls (Vicky Alcock).

Yazdan Qafouri

Wicker Husband (voice)

Theatre credits include: The Band (The Royal Haymarket & UK Tour); Aladdin (Churchill Theatre, Bromley).

TV credits include: Let It Shine (BBC)

Eilon Morris

Wicker Husband (Puppeteer)

Eilon Morris is an actor, percussionist, composer and writer. Having grown up and trained in Melbourne, Australia, working with the Quiddity Ensemble and the Butterfly Club Pocket Theatre, he came to the UK in 2004 and undertook a Masters in Ensemble Physical Theatre in 2008 at the University of Huddersfield.

In 2013, Eilon completed a PhD investigating the role of rhythm in actor training. In 2017, he published his first book, Rhythm in Acting and Performance: Embodied Approaches and Understandings, published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

Eilon is currently a member and performs regularly with Duende, ICEBERG and OBRA Theatre Co.

He recently performed and composed music for IBIDEM (OBRA, Théâtre de la Cité Toulouse, CIRCA) and Separated in Birth (Zoe Katsilerou).

Other performance credits include: Day of the Living (Royal Shakespeare Company), Lord of the Flies (BBC Radio Drama), These Trees are Made of Blood (Arcola, Southwark Playhouse), Gaudete (OBRA Theatre Co, Lowery), Shattering Man (Duende), Electric Field (IOU Theatre), It’s Like He’s Knocking (Unfinished Business), Woman Scorned (Dirty Laundry) and Rhein (Royal Festival Hall).

Scarlet Wilderink

Wicker Husband (Puppeteer)

Training: Guildford School of Acting.

For the Watermill: Watership Down (2016), Newbury Yarns (2017)

Other theatre includes: Treasure Island (Stephen Joseph, Scarborough); Die Zauberflöte (Glyndebourne Opera House); Pinocchio (National Theatre); Running Wild (UK Tour); War Horse (New London Theatre); Earthquakes in London (Broadway Theatre Catford); Cabaret (MAC Theatre, Belfast).

Stephen Leask


Stephen trained at LAMDA.

Theatre Credits include: Cal in Waitress (Adelphi Theatre); Dewey Finn in School of Rock (Gillian Lynne Theatre); Being Groucho (Workshop); Robin Hood (The Egg Theatre, Bath); The Canterbury Tales (UK Tour); Rumpelstiltskin (The Egg Theatre Bath); I Killed Rasputin (Edinburgh Festival); One Man, Two Guv’nors (Theatre Royal Haymarket); A Little Hotel on the Side (Theatre Royal Bath); Staunch (Theatre 503); Potted Panto (Vaudeville Theatre); The Secret Garden (Birmingham Rep); Troilus & Cressida (RSC).

Film & Television includes; County Lines, True Horror: The Witches Prison (Channel Four); Doctors (BBC), Our World War (BBC), The Intern (Boundless/Channel 4) and EastEnders (BBC).

Stephen recently appeared in a new musical being developed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Curtis called Unmasked


Angela Caesar

Cobbler's Wife

Stage Credits Include: Moon in Caroline or Change (Playhouse Theatre/Chichester Festival Theatre/National Theatre); Amanda in Astronaut (The Other Palace); Annie/Church Elder in King (Hackney Empire); Grace in Orlando and The Three Graces (Theatre Peckham); Head Teacher in Clown (Theatre Peckham); Mrs. Sander in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); Grandmother in Into the Forest (Theatre Peckham); U/S Serena/Ensemble in Porgy and the Bess (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); Mama Li in The Magic Paintbrush (Theatre Peckham); Carlotta Giudicelli in Phantom of the Opera (UK Tour); Ensemble/Soloist in Showboat (Raymond Gubby Productions).

Opera Credits Include: Butterfly in Shaw Goes Wilde (Pegasus Opera Company); Water Nymph and u/s Foreign Princess in Rusalka (English Touring Opera); Kathryn in Dream Lovers (Syncopation); Gianetta in L’Elisir D’Amore (Pegasus Opera); Chorus in Lucia Di Lammermoor (Baltimore Opera); Titania in A Midsummer Nights Dream (Peabody Opera Theatre); Emily in Edgar and Emily (Peabody Opera Theatre); Gertrude in Hansel and Gretal (Peabody Opera Theatre); Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Peabody Opera Theatre); Chorus in Samson Et Dalila (Royal Opera House); Alice Ford in Falstaff (Pegasus Opera); Girl of Mahagonny in The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (English National Opera).

Jonathan Charles


Training : Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Theatre credits include: A Christmas Carol and Butterfly Lion (Barn Theatre); Warhorse (National Theatre and No 1 Tour); Cinderella (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch); Peter Pan In Scarlet (Oxford Playhouse/New Vic Theatre, Stoke); Robin Hood & Marian, The Borrowers and Dracula (New Vic Theatre, Stoke); Sunset Five (Edinburgh Festival, Pleasance Theatre & Greenwich, DugOut Theatre Co); Juno & The Paycock (Bristol Old Vic and Liverpool Playhouse); The Revenger's Tragedy (Gentleman Jack Theatre); London Road (Bristol Old Vic Studio, BOVTS); The Merry Wives of Windsor  and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Redgrave Theatre, BOVTS)

Claire-Marie Hall

Innkeeper's Wife

Claire-Marie originates from Newport, South Wales and studied at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

Theatre includes: Jean in ‘Operation Mincemeat’ (Southwark Playhouse); Erica in ‘The Colours’ (Soho Theatre); Ruth in ‘Mites’ (Tristan Bates Theatre); U/S Dea, Queen Angelica & Lady Trelaw in ‘The Grinning Man’ (Trafalgar Studios, West End); Tuptim in 'The King and I' (Leicester Curve and National Tour); Gabriella Montez in 'High School Musical' (Hammersmith Apollo and National Tour); Cosette in 'Les Miserables' (Queen's Theatre, West End); The Woman in ‘The Sorrows Of Satan’ (Tristan Bates Theatre); Anala in ‘Between Empires’  (St James’ Theatre & Edinburgh Festival); Princess in 'Aladdin' (New Wimbledon Theatre, Manchester Opera House and Hackney Empire)

Film/Television includes: 'Just Up Your Street' (BBC Wales); Princess in 'Aladdin' (BBC Wales); Temptation (Last Gunshot Productions)

Radio includes: Suki in 'When the Dog Dies’ and Vanessa/Melody-Ann/Ms Chang in ‘My Brilliant Divorce’ (both CPL Productions for BBC Radio 4)

Jack Beale


Jack trained at LAMDA after being awarded the Genesis Foundation Scholarship and is an accomplished actor and musician.

His Theatre credits include: As You Like It (Regents Park Theatre); The Lorax (Old Vic Theatre); Henry I of England (RBL);ONCE (Pheonix Theatre); Troilus and Cressida (RSC); Winter (Soho Theatre); 25 Down (White Light-Royal Court); Alice (Sheffield Crucible); Brief Encounter (Kneehigh Theatre); Titanic (MAC Belfast); Lady Clancarty / Wages of Sin (Cheltenham Everyman Theatre); Tom's Midnight Garden (Nottingham Playhouse); Grimm Tales (Library Theatre Manchester); Wind in the Willows / Spend Spend Spend (Watermill Theatre); Rebel Harbour / Smugglers (Shanty Theatre Company); The Easter Rising and Thereafter (Jermyn Street Theatre). 

His film credits include Sir Thomas More (CAVIAR); Tick Tock Trick (Deleted Scenes Ltd); Narcopolis (A T Squared).

His TV credits include The Mimic (Channel 4); Law and Order: UK (Kudos ITV); Silent Witness (BBC) and he is soon to appear in Biopic Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender Revealed (Potato ITV).

Zoƫ Rainey

Tailor's Wife

Theatre credits include: Lois Lane in Kiss Me Kate (London Colliseum); An American in Paris (Dominion); The Winter’s Tale, Harlequinade, Romeo and Juliet, all directed by Kenneth Branagh (Garrick); Duchess Noel (Wexford); Anything Goes (Sheffield Theatres/UK Tour); John Ferguson (Finborough); Oh! What A Lovely War (Theatre Royal Stratford East); The Return of the Soldier (Jermyn Street); Dancing at Lughnasa (Royal & Derngate Northampton); The School for Scandal (Theatre Royal Bath); She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre); Finding Neverland (Leicester Curve); Wicked (Apollo Victoria); Sunshine on Leith (Dundee Rep); Hairspray (Shaftesbury); Gigi (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park); The Sound of Music (Larnaca); Parade (Donmar); Guys and Dolls (Donmar/ATG); The Woman in White (Palace Theatre); Jekyll and Hyde (UK Productions); Warcrime Tribunal (Pleasance); Little Women (Theatre Royal Drury Lane).

Recent film includes: Mr Holmes and Walt Disney’s live action remakes of Beauty and the Beast (as Belle’s Mother) and Cinderella.

Julian Forsyth

Old Basket Maker

Theatre credits include: Local Hero (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh), An American in Paris, The Go Between, Sunset Boulevard, The Woman in Black, Stephen Ward, Wicked, Gone With The Wind, A Midsummer Night's Dream, St Joan, Les Miserables, Martin Guerre (all West End); Cyrano de Bergerac, The Miser (Chichester); Down By The Greenwood Side (Royal Opera House); Tangier Tattoo (Glyndebourne); The Wizard of Oz (Royal Festival Hall); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (National Theatre); Measure for Measure, The Blue Angel (RSC); Follies (Northampton); Pacific Overtures (Leicester); Blue/Orange (New Vic); The Silver Tassie, Lulu, Scenes from an Execution (Almeida); Salieri in Amadeus (Derby). Fagin in Oliver! (Sadler's Wells, Leicester, Sheffield Crucible).

Television and film credits include: The Children Act (Film); Father Brown, Casualty, A Touch of Frost, The Curse of Steptoe, Dalziell and Pascoe, Diamond Geezer, Footballers’ Wives, Holby City, Doctors, EastEnders, Poirot (TV), Through Lotte’s Lens, Adolf Hitler in 5 series of Nazi Megastructures (Docudrama).

Jon Whitten

On Stage Band

As musician Jon has performed, written and recorded for artists including Alt-J (Mercury Album of the Year, three time Brit Award Nominee, Ivor Novello Award Winner), Sam Lee (Mercury Award Winner, BBC Folk Award Winner), Charles Castronovo and City of London Sinfonia, and companies including the Royal Opera House, Blind Summit, Little Bulb and Shakespeare’s Globe.

His TV appearances include: Later… with Jools Holland and NPRs Tiny Desk Concerts,

Live performance credits include: The Glastonbury Acoustic Stage, Barbican Theatre, festivals across Europe and the Americas and an unlit crypt beneath Paris. In his personal time he is writing a life changing drag cabaret called Deeply Personal, Sweetly Soulful, Searing and Brave.

Pat Moran

On Stage MD and guitars