As soon as I arrived at Pooh Corner, I knew an adventure was going to happen!
Perched at the edge of Ashdown Forest on an otherwise unassuming road is Pooh Corner – a tearoom and Pooh-seum totally dedicated to the world’s most famous and favoured bear, Winnie the Pooh. Inside, we enjoyed some bear shaped toast (with honey, obviously) and a cuppa as we browsed the collectibles on display and enjoyed a talk about the history of the Milne family.
After that, we headed over to the woodland that inspired the Hundred Acre Wood, Ashdown Forest. Our first job was to find suitable sticks for a game of Pooh Sticks as we walked down to Pooh Bridge. Along the way, we saw a few recognisable homes; a small door in a tree trunk, a teepee of sticks, and a tree house before meeting their occupants and recreating some iconic scenes from the story books.
Then we were invited to Ashdown Park Hotel. On arrival, we sipped Pooh-tini’s (delicious – a blend of raspberry and amaretto!) before our host formally welcomed us to his very special party. In the magical Altar room, all the classic characters gathered and showed off the delights that had been specially prepared in their honour. There was purple blueberry filled eclairs as Eeyore’s tails, fresh carrots in edible nutty soil from Rabbit and a striped cake as Tigger’s offering. But the centrepiece was a honeycomb choux pastry tower!
Check out the video below for a look into the magical day with Disney’s Winnie the Pooh.
It will open at London’s Riverside Studios in Hammersmith on 17 March, ahead of a major tour until September 2023 – you can find out more here.
The show, which features all the classic characters from the Hundred Acre Wood and tells an original story, has music by the Sherman Brothers with additional songs by A A Milne. It is created and directed by Jonathan Rockefeller.
Tunes in the show (which also has an original score by Nate Edmundson) include well-known classics from Pooh films, including “Winnie the Pooh”, “The Blustery Day”, “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers” and “Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce”.
Sharing the role of Winnie the Pooh in London will be the previously announced Jake Bazel (who originated the role in New York) and Benjamin Durham (Young Frankenstein) – with Durham set to play the title role on tour.
The characters of Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo will be brought to life by an ensemble of performers, including Laura Bacon (Britain’s Got Talent, Star Wars), Harry Boyd (The Play That Goes Wrong, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story), Alex Cardall (Evita, The Osmonds: A New Musical), Chloe Gentles (Mamma Mia!, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Lottie Grogan (Smurfs Save Spring: The Musical, The Lips for Puppets with Guys) and Robbie Noonan (Avenue Q UK Tour, Jack and the Beanstalk).
The creative team for the production is to be revealed.
Tickets are available below.