Artistic Director Paul Hart and the team at Newbury’s The Watermill Theatre have confirmed details of its 2021 Summer outdoor season, with performances beginning from the 21st May.

(c) Eden Harrhy.

Audiences will once again be welcomed to The Watermill Theatre with socially distanced outdoor performances taking place from the 21st May, with audiences sitting at tables of two, four or six in the theatre’s gardens.

The first show to be opening at the theatre on the front lawn is the return of the critically acclaimed comedy version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes tale The Hound of the Baskervilles, which will run from the 21st May until the 19th June. Directed by Abigail Pickard Price, a trio of actors will help to bring the production to life.

It will be followed by the Watermill Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, adapted by Yolanda Mercy and directed by Paul Hart. Featuring a cast of twelve actor-musicians and an atmospheric modern folk soundscape the production will play from the 24th June until the 24th July.

The third production in this newly announced season will be a new semi-staged concert version of Stiles & Drewe’s Just So. The musical blends five of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories to tell a tale of courage, friendship and the power of an individual to make a difference. It will be performed at the theatre from the 30th July until the 4th September.

Talking about the news of the season, Artistic Director Paul Hart said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to announce another joyous summer season after the sell-out success of last year. Audiences absolutely loved our production of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ which was devised in the midst of the pandemic. I was struck by the idea of a group of individuals trying to solve a murder whilst observing social distancing measures(!) and we’re delighted to bring back the production for a very limited run. The rest of the season integrates themes of the environment and sustainability, an issue we’re really passionate about, not least because of our stunning location which backs onto a nature reserve in the heart of the Berkshire countryside. 

Our Shakespeare ensemble return with a radical new version of ‘As You Like It’ which focuses on the importance of connecting with nature and as ever, will be filled with glorious music performed live by our cast. After this we’ll be presenting a very special concert performance of our summer musical, ‘Just So’. The show began its life at The Watermill to great acclaim in 1989. It feels like a perfect moment to celebrate this uplifting musical and to bring it to life once again, this time in our beautiful gardens! I couldn’t be more excited to welcome back audiences and to be creating brilliant theatre again.”

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