About Us

Great shows that audiences love!

Since 1967, from our unique home in a converted Watermill in rural West Berkshire, we have produced award-winning work that has been recognised throughout the UK and abroad. We are a regional powerhouse, consistently making an innovative contribution to the vibrant and diverse landscape of UK Theatre reaching far beyond the 220 seats of the theatre itself.

The very best artists and creative teams, both established and at early stages of their careers, are our lifeblood, earning The Watermill a reputation as one of the very best producing theatres in the country. We continually aim to present a programme of live performances and outreach opportunities that are inspiring and thought-provoking with lasting impact. Our artistic ambition is shown in our choice of work, from new writing and musicals to Shakespeare and classic plays. Our pioneering approach has led us to be well known for our actor-musician shows, which has led to the reimagining of well-known titles and new writing.

Alongside our shows on The Watermill stage, we enjoy touring work all across the country, to a host of different communities. We have secured West End and national transfers as well as touring internationally to countries as Nepal, New York, Bombay and Barbados. Most recently The Watermill’s hit production of Spike is touring around the UK. Previous to that in 2019 Amelie embarked on a UK tour before taking up West End residence in The Other Place and in 2018 Trial by Laughter embarked on a UK tour.

As part of our commitment to the community, we take one show a year to local villages to provide access to professional theatre in rural areas. We create productions for small-scale touring, ensuring that those living in rural isolation are able to enjoy high quality theatre on their doorstep. Our most recent Rural Tour was 2022’s Camp Albion.

We also tour to schools taking scaled down, new, vibrant adaptions of classic texts into the classroom to support students’ learning. Our next schools tour will be The Sleeping Sword, an adaption of Michael Morpurgo’s adventure story. Our belief that everyone deserves a chance to a thriving education and participation programme. We work with around 19,000 people every year at The Watermill and in the wider community through our Take Part sessions.
It costs in the region of £3m to produce our plays, run the theatre and our education and participation programme. As a registered charity, we work hard to generate approximately 81% of our income ourselves derived from theatre activities, box office and restaurant income and fundraising initiatives. We also receive core funding from Arts Council England.

What a location! Forget the glitz of the West End: try walking up a country lane, past waddling ducks, to this lovely little theatre in a converted mill.” The Mail on Sunday