Artistic Director Paul Hart, Executive Director Claire Murray and the team at Newbury’s The Watermill Theatre have announced details of the shows that will play at the theatre from May 2022, all the way through until Christmas.
As well as world-class shows, the team also announces a renewed commitment to access and inclusivity, for both audiences and theatre professionals at the early stages of their theatre-going and theatre-making careers: the NURTURE fundraising campaign, which specifically aims to open up access to best practice in the industry, and support, nurture and empower those at the beginning of their careers, the Under 30s ticket discount, which is available on selected shows across the whole season, and a full programme of Take Part opportunities for young people and adults.
The new season opens with the world premiere of BLEAK EXPECTATIONS, a new stage adaptation of the hit BBC Radio 4 comedy written by Mark Evans and directed by Caroline Leslie (Trial by Laughter, The Wiper’s Times) ), running from Friday 27 May until Saturday 2 July, in association with Anthology Theatre Productions and David Wolstencroft.
It is followed by the world premiere of CAMP ALBION, a new play by Danielle Pearson (Watermill Associate Artist, previous credits include A Christmas Carol, A Mini Summer Night’s Dream, D Day 75, Jane Eyre), directed by Georgie Staight (Watermill Creative Associate, previous credits include A Christmas Carol and D Day 75) and designed by Isobel Nicolson (Watermill Creative Associate, previous credits include A Christmas Carol, Lone Flyer and D Day 75). CAMP ALBION – a play about environmental activism and the 1996 ‘Battle of Newbury’ – will tour to towns and villages across the region from 15 June, and open at The Watermill on Wednesday 6 July until Saturday 16 July.
WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND – the first major UK revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman’s 1996 rock musical since 2010 – will play at The Watermill from Friday 22 July until Saturday 10 September. Directed by Tom Jackson Greaves (Watermill Associate Artist, The Jungle Book, Amélie, Sweet Charity, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Borrowers, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Frankenstein), WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND will feature a company of actor musicians alongside a cast of talented local young people.
The Watermill Ensemble will present Shakespeare’s OTHELLO from Friday 16 September to Saturday 15 October. Directed by Artistic Director Paul Hart and Anjali Mehra (Brief Encounter, As You Like It), The Watermill Ensemble will weave live music into this powerful and bold new adaptation.
A brand-new stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s THE SLEEPING SWORD by Tatty Hennessy will run at The Watermill from Thursday 27 October to Saturday 5 November, and also tour to local schools from Tuesday 8 November. Directed by Lucy Jane Atkinson and with Amy Bethan Evans as Dramaturg and Visually Impaired Creative Consultant, THE SLEEPING SWORD weaves a contemporary tale of self-discovery with the ancient legend of King Arthur. The show will have creative access at the heart of it, working with a team of sighted and visually impaired artists, and every performance will feature the use of creative captioning and integrated audio description.
The next Watermill Youth Ensemble Production will be A MONSTER CALLS, playing from Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 November. Based on the best-selling novel by Patrick Ness and inspired by an original idea by Siobhan Dowd, devised by Sally Cookson, Adam Peck and the Company, A MONSTER CALLS will be directed by Angharad Arnott Phillips (Watermill Community Associate).
The Watermill’s Christmas production will be RAPUNZEL, directed by Lucy Betts (Watermill Creative Associate, previous credits include Lone Flyer). Originally created for Kneehigh in 2006, Annie Siddons’ adaptation, a play with music, will be reworked for audiences at The Watermill this Christmas, playing from Friday 18 November to Sunday 1 January.