Whistle Down the Wind


Writers: Andrew Lloyd Webber Patricia Knop Gale Edwards Jim Steinman


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Whistle Down the Wind by Mary Hayley Bell
Number of Acts
First Produced
Contemporary, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
louisiana, america, 1959
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Musical Staging
Ideal for
Large Cast
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes early teen, late teen, child, young adult, adult, mature adult characters


Based on the book of the same title by Mary Hayley Bell, and later produced as a movie in the hands of Richard Attenborough, Whistle Down the Wind is set in a small, deeply religious town in Louisiana of the 1950s. A poor farming family led by father, Boone, and his three children--Swallow, Brat, and Poor Baby--have recently buried their mother and they are still struggling with the grief. As Christmas approaches and the family cannot afford any presents or luxuries, the three children are desperate to find something to hold on to and believe in. One day, they find a stranger injured and hiding in their run-down barn. Unknown to the children The Man is probably an escaped convict, but Swallow seizes on the idea that he is Jesus and the rumor quickly spreads amongst the children of the town. Meanwhile, the town is on the lookout for the runaway convict, urged by their Sheriff to stay vigilant. When Candy, a rebellious African-American youth learns of the prisoner’s hide-out, she is quick to reveal it to the town and the residents all descend on Boone’s farm. However, mysteriously, The Man has disappeared and Boone realizes that Swallow still needs him to depend upon and restore her faith in their family unit.

Lead Characters

Whistle Down the Wind guide sections