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Outdoor Summer Season Announced

The Watermill announce a new summer season of outdoor performances, alongside new fundraising campaign Act 2

The Watermill are thrilled to announce a new summer season of outdoor performances, following the sell-out success of the 2020 season. Audiences from far and wide will once again be able to enjoy live theatre from socially distanced tables in the idyllic setting of The Watermill’s glorious gardens.

The first show opening on 21 May 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. A trio of actors bring this production to life, devised by the company and directed by Abigail Pickard Price. Performances take place from Friday 21 May – Saturday 19 June.

This will be followed by the Watermill Ensemble’s brand-new sustainability focussed production of Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT, adapted by Yolanda Mercy and directed by Paul Hart, with a cast of twelve actor-musicians and an atmospheric modern folk soundscape, inspired by the music of Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Taylor Swift. AS YOU LIKE IT will open on the main lawn. Performances will take place Thursday 24 June – Saturday 24 July.

Using responsibly sourced, repurposed, or recyclable materials to create the set, props and costumes, this production of Shakespeare’s famous pastoral comedy will celebrate the unique environment of The Watermill gardens. With a focus on eco-friendly practices both on and off stage, this season marks a new direction for the venue in terms of sustainability and access for future generations.

The third production will be a new semi-staged concert version of Stiles & Drewe’s JUST SO. This wondrous family 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. Directed by Abigail Pickard Price, with Tarek Merchant as the Musial Director, JUST SO will run from Friday 30 July – Saturday 4 September.

Artistic Director and CEO Paul Hart said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to announce another joyous summer season after the sell-out success of last year. Our production of THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES 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.

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.”

To help rebuild our artistic programme and resume our important outreach and education activities on-site, we have also launched ACT 2. The ACT 2 appeal invites supporters to help Celebrate Theatre, Inspire Creativity and Connect Communities.

For further information and to donate please visit watermill.org.uk/ACT2