The Watermill Theatre’s Artistic Director, Paul Hart, announces his spring 2018 season which includes an award-winning new musical, the first major revival of a modern classic, a new Shakespeare production from The Watermill Ensemble and three premieres.
The season opens with a revival of Teddy, winner of Best New Musical at the Off West End Awards in 2016. The ultimate story of teenage rebellion and the birth of a new musical era, Teddy is written by Tristan Bernays, with music by Dougal Irvine. An on-stage band will perform a combination of original songs and well-known hits from the 1950s. Teddy will be directed by Eleanor Rhode with musical direction by Harrison White. It is produced by Sarah Loader for Snapdragon Productions in association with The Watermill Theatre and runs at The Watermill from 11 January to 10 February before touring. Teddy will transfer to The Vaults, Waterloo from Thursday 29 March to Sunday 6 May.
A new adaptation of The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan runs from 15 March to 21 April. The classic comedy of desire, intrigue and romantic delusion, takes place over the course of one day. Adapted by Beth Flintoff this fresh, funny and fast-moving new version will be staged in the round and directed by Jonathan Humphreys whose previous credits include The Mighty Walzer (Manchester Royal Exchange) andRomeo and Juliet (Sheffield Crucible).
The story of the infamous opportunists William Burke and William Hare is brought to the stage in a new black comedy, Burke and Hare that is as hysterical as it is historical. In Edinburgh, the leading city for medical research, there’s a huge demand for bodies and an inconveniently low number of deaths. The murderous pair come up with a profitable solution. This new version by Tom Wentworth is directed by Abigail Pickard Price. It was originally created by Jenny Wren Productions. Burke and Hare runs at The Watermill from 24 April to 5 May and then tours to village halls and arts centres. The Sackler Trust are Principal Supporter of Watermill rural touring.
Paul Hart will direct The Watermill Ensemble in A Midsummer Night’s Dream from 10 May to 16 June. Following the success of Twelfth Nightand Romeo and Juliet’s recent national tour, the Ensemble once again fuses actor-musicianship with Shakespeare. Inspired by the rich and soulful sounds of Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, secrets, love and mistaken identities collide in one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies.
The first major revival of Jez Butterworth’s multi award-winning, West End and Broadway hit, Jerusalem will be directed by Lisa Blair and runs from 21 June to 21 July. The raucous and earthy contemporary classic, with the anarchic Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron at its heart, paints a rebellious alternative vision of the idyllic English countryside.
The Watermill’s resident playwright, Danielle Pearson’s new play, Digging For Victory will be performed by the theatre’s Senior Youth Theatre from 7 to 10 March. It is directed by The Watermill’s Outreach Director, Heidi Bird.
Launching the season Paul Hart said:
‘I’m delighted to introduce our 2018 season, which further cements The Watermill’s reputation for producing theatre of national import in our small, rural idyll. The new season includes three premieres of new work and Jerusalem – a great opportunity to experience Jez Butterworth’s contemporary masterpiece in the perfect setting! A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed by our newly-formed resident Ensemble, brilliantly illustrates our commitment to encouraging and supporting new talent. And as we launch the national tour and transfer of Teddy, we continue to work with the UK’s finest directors, creatives and performers.’
Continuing its commitment to making its work accessible to all, The Watermill is extending its £10 tickets for 16 to 25 year olds scheme to all performances of main house shows. It is also staging its sixth integrated signed performance during the run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. On 13 June at 7.30pm and 16 June at 1.30pm the Watermill Ensemble will be joined on stage by two additional members of cast, Lixi Chivas, the theatre’s resident BSL signer, and Ana Becker who will both be involved in the rehearsal process. The theatre has also expanded the number of productions that will be audio described with accompanying touch tours.