Artistic director Paul Hart and the team at Newbury’s The Watermill Theatre have announced a summer season of work outdoors. The first show will be a new three-hander comedy version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes tale, The Hound of the Baskervilles, devised by the company, with evening performances from 29 July-8 August 2020. This will be followed by a concert version of Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot, including actor-musicians, with evening performances from 17-29 August.
The cast for The Hound of the Baskervilles is Victoria Blunt (previous credits at The Watermill: Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth), Rosalind Lailey (A Mini Summer Night’s Dream at the Watermill, The Railway Children, York Theatre Royal) and James Mack (previous credits at The Watermill: The Rivals, Journey’s End and Macbeth).
Casting for Camelot will be announced shortly.
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 onsite at any one time. There will be 20 tables available for each performance, which can each seat a maximum of four people from one party only. Tables are unreserved, and audiences will be able to select a table on arrival. Each table will be in its own 2msq area with space between neighbouring tables and aisles. Seats will be uncovered, and performances will go ahead whatever the weather. There will be hand sanitiser stations, a one-way system for accessing the toilets and signage to indicate routes and procedures. There will also be free onsite parking in the main car park. Audiences will be able to enjoy the shows from socially distanced tables, seating up to four people maximum.
Artistic director Paul Hart said:
“I’m so thrilled we’re able to bring you a summer season from our gorgeous gardens. The back lawn becomes Dartmoor in a bold and bonkers production of The Hound of the Baskervilles and I couldn’t think of anywhere more sublime to present Lerner and Loewe’s stunning score than ‘here in Camelot!’
“I’m immensely proud of the team who have worked day and night to make this happen. I’ve been moved by theatres up and down the country working their socks off to create inspired work and community projects in impossible circumstances and I’m so looking forward to us conjuring some joy this summer.”