Artistic Director Paul Hart and the team at Newbury’s The Watermill Theatre have announced that – further to the recent announcement of stage 4 of the government’s roadmap towards re-opening theatres, enabling socially distanced indoor performances – the theatre will present an autumn reopening season of work featuring shows with smaller cast sizes, reduced capacity inside the auditorium and socially distanced seating.
BLOODSHOT – a tantalizing film noir inspired thriller starring Simon Slater, written by Douglas Post and directed by Patrick Sandford – returns to the Watermill nearly a decade after its first critically acclaimed run there in 2011. BLOODSHOT will play from Tuesday 22 September to Saturday 17 October.
LONE FLYER – THE LAST FLIGHT OF AMY JOHNSON will also be revived at the Watermill, after its original production in 2001. Directed by Watermill Associate Lucy Betts, Ade Morris’ powerful play about one of the most inspirational women of the twentieth century will play from Wednesday 21 October to Saturday 21 November.
Whilst the 2020 Christmas production of THE JUNGLE BOOK has been postponed, with performances rescheduled to 18 November – 31 December 2021, audiences will be able to enjoy a new festive production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Danielle Pearson and directed by Georgie Staight. The production will be performed by two actor musicians and will play from Thursday 26 November 2020 to Saturday 3 January 2021.
Paul Hart said, “After a hugely successful, outdoor summer season we’re delighted to announce plans for reopening our indoor space this autumn. I think what we’ve all missed is the opportunity to share stories – something that’s always been pretty magical in The Watermill’s beautiful auditorium. We return to two fantastic pieces of writing from Douglas Post and Ade Morris, as well as commissioning a new version of perennial classic A Christmas Carol from our playwright-in-residence Danielle Pearson. I’m also thrilled that we have Georgie Staight and Lucy Betts making their directorial debuts for us. We genuinely can’t wait to open our doors again and welcome audiences back to the theatre.”
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 in the theatre at any one time. The auditorium has been reconfigured to allow for social distancing between audience members. Seating bubbles will be able to accommodate groups of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, with all seats in a bubble purchased in one transaction. Social distancing between bubbles will be observed in the auditorium. Audience members will be required to wear face masks. There are hand sanitiser stations, a one-way system for accessing the toilets and signage to indicate routes and procedures. To enhance audience safety, a fogging machine will be used to regularly sanitise all public areas at The Watermill, and to avoid recirculating air in the auditorium, the theatre will be heated before audience members arrive and then fresh air will be continuously fed through the theatre during performances.
The Watermill Theatre will be operating in accordance with government guidance at the time of the performance and will be constantly reviewing and adapting to the government’s guidelines. In the event that a show is unable to go ahead i.e. because of a local lockdown for example, patrons will be contacted as soon as possible via email or phone and offered a transfer or a refund for their tickets.
Customers with bookings for The Jungle Book will be contacted by the theatre’s box office to arrange alternative dates for audience members to attend in 2021. The theatre kindly asks that customers do not call the box office directly at this time, a member of the team will be in touch with all customers as soon as possible.