Artistic Director Paul Hart and the team at Newbury’s The Watermill Theatre have announced, due to the progress with the government’s phased roadmap towards theatres re-opening to the public, they are now in a position to present a summer season of work outdoors. Audiences from far and wide will be able to enjoy two new shows from socially distanced tables, seating up to 4 people maximum, in the idyllic setting of The Watermill’s glorious gardens. A two-course pre-show dinner from the restaurant will be available to enjoy from 5.30pm, with evening shows starting at 7.30pm (Monday to Saturday), and cream teas available after matinée performances (Thursday and Saturday).
The first show will be a new three hander comedy version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes tale, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, devised by the company, with evening performances from 29 July – 8 August. This will be followed by a concert version of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot, including actor-musicians, with evening performances from 17 – 29 August.
To ensure the safety of all, strict social distancing measures have been implemented, and this includes significantly reducing the number of audience members that can be welcomed onsite at any one time. There will be twenty tables available for each performance, which can each seat a maximum of four people from one party only. Tables are unreserved, and audiences will be able to select a table on arrival. Each table will be in its own 2msq area with space between neighbouring tables and aisles. Seats will be uncovered, and performances will go ahead whatever the weather. There will be hand sanitiser stations, a one-way system for accessing the toilets and signage to indicate routes and procedures. There will also be free onsite parking in the main car park.
The cast for The Hound Of The Baskervilles is Victoria Blunt (previous credits at The Watermill: Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth), Rosalind Lailey (A Mini Summer Night’s Dream at the Watermill, The Railway Children, York Theatre Royal), and James Mack (previous credits at The Watermill: The Rivals, Journey’s End and Macbeth).
Casting for Camelot will be announced shortly.
Paul Hart said, “I’m so thrilled we’re able to bring you a summer season from our gorgeous gardens. The back lawn becomes Dartmoor in a bold and bonkers production of The Hound of the Baskervilles and I couldn’t think of anywhere more sublime to present Lerner and Loewe’s stunning score than ‘here in Camelot!’
I’m immensely proud of the team who have worked day and night to make this happen. I’ve been moved by theatres up and down the country working their socks off to create inspired work and community projects in impossible circumstances and I’m so looking forward to us conjuring some joy this summer. Come and join us for great theatre, al fresco dining, chilled rosé and the perfect location as the sun sets over the river- what could be more magical and frankly we all deserve it! And hopefully the rain will hold off…”