Come follow the band with Barnum

Round & About

watermill theatre

Enjoy a spectacular show this summer when Barnum takes to the stage at The Watermill

Roll up! Roll up! The Watermill Theatre is inviting you to take your seat and be amazed by the acts, entertainment and stories of showman P T Barnum.

Enter the dazzling world where imagination and ambition know no bounds as the creator of spectacle comes to town with a sensational show featuring a whole host of characters.

Hand in hand with wife Charity, Barnum’s life and career twists and turns as he schemes and dreams his way to headier heights. The irresistible pull of an ever-bigger humbug comes at a cost, and the people paying are usually those on whom Barnum tramples on the way to the top.

Come follow the band with the glorious multi-award winning Cy Coleman’s music, Michael Stewart’s lyrics and Mark Bramble’ book in this new production directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, choreographed by Oti Mabuse who returns to the Watermill after her work on Kiss Me Kate in 2019, and featuring an ensemble cast of actor-musicians and circus performers.

Jonathan said: “I’m thrilled to be directing Barnum at the beautiful Watermill Theatre this summer and with this wonderful cast and creative team. Barnum is a magical show, full of thrills , music, dance and yes, circus performers. With a fresh new take on this classic story, we’re approaching the show through a modern lens and perspective, celebrating the rich diversity and heritage of the show’s characters. We can’t wait to transform the theatre and the grounds of the Watermill and immerse the audience in the world of P T Barnum!”

Following the sell-out smash hit The Lord of the Rings, this summer, come and be immersed in the magical world of the circus at The Watermill Theatre from July 2nd to September 8th.

Watermill Theatre’s joint CEOs Claire Murray and Paul Hart said: “We’re so excited to welcome this talented company of actors, musicians and acrobats and an extraordinary creative team to The Watermill for this new production of Barnum. We’ve been working closely with National Centre for Circus Arts to realise all the thrills and spectacle of the circus and it’s brilliant to have Oti Mabuse back with us to create breath-taking movement and dance. This summer is going to be something special for all the family!”

Fancy testing out your skills and seeing if you have what it takes to join the circus? Join an afternoon of fun, food and frivolity in the Watermill gardens on Sunday, 25th August, before watching the show. Tickets from £50 (£45 for under 16s) including a ticket to see Barnum.

Musical treats at The Watermill, Newbury

Round & About

watermill theatre

From an enchanting folk-inspired musical to a sizzling Cuban inspired spy thriller The Watermill Theatre has a musical treat for everyone.

Highly anticipated musical The Wicker Husband returns to The Watermill Theatre from Friday 11th March to Saturday 26th March, after premature closure in 2020 due to the pandemic. A captivating show featuring ‘delightfully vivid’ Bunraku puppetry and ‘richly evocative’ music, The Wicker Husband tells the timeless tale of the outsider.

In a superficial world, meet the so-called ‘Ugly Girl’. Ostracised by the shallow townsfolk because she doesn’t fit in, the Ugly Girl becomes the envy of her neighbours when the mysterious Old Basketmaker makes her a strong and loving husband woven from living wicker. As bitter rivalry and jealousy threaten to tear the community apart, the townsfolk embark on a cruel and destructive plan. Will the Ugly Girl’s happiness be ruined forever?

Get 2 for 1 tickets to The Wicker Husband, with thanks to the National Lottery’s Love Your Local Theatre campaign. More information can be found on the theatre’s website. Tickets from £15.

The Watermill’s second musical of the season is Our Man In Havana running from Thursday 7th April to Saturday 21st May. A roller coaster comedy full of colourful characters and uplifting Cuban inspired songs. This new musical is based on Graham Greene’s iconic novel that cleverly satirises the fine line between truth and lies.

It’s 1958 and Havana is on the brink of revolution. All day and night, the streets are filled with dancing and the shadows are filled with criminals. In the midst of the warm tropical air, an English vacuum cleaner salesman lives a quiet life running a modest business, raising his teenage daughter Milly and collecting miniature whisky bottles.

Just as Milly’s love of shopping reaches new heights, James Wormold receives an offer from the British Secret Intelligence Service that is too good to refuse. What Wormold lacks in sleuthing experience, he makes up for with imagination. Nothing stays quiet for long in Havana and his life is soon turned upside down when the fictional events of his intelligence reports start to come true! Tickets from £15.

Fascinated to find out what happens behind the scenes? Join writing duo Ben Morales Frost and Richard Hough who will talk about bringing Our Man in Havana to the stage at a Creative Insights event on Tuesday 12th April. Tickets £24, includes lunch and a ticket for the talk.

Book tickets via The Watermill’s website or by call the box office on 01635 46044.

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