Newbury’s The Watermill Theatre has revealed its programme of shows for February to July 2023.
The season starts with a new adaptation of Bill Bryson’s smash-hit memoir Notes from a Small Island, celebrating the quirks and eccentricities of British life. The play is adapted by Tim Whitnall (Morecambe – West End, Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story – BBC4), directed by Paul Hart, designed by Katie Lias, and in association with Simon Friend Productions.
Notes from a Small Island will run from 3 February to 18 March 2023.
The Watermill Youth Ensemble will bring a reimagining of Lewis Carrol’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, adapted by Writer in Residence, Becca Chadder (The Poison Belt – Jermyn Street Theatre, Cabildo – Wilton’s Music Hall) to The Watermill from 23 to 25 March 2023.
The first major UK revival of Barney Norris’s Visitors, the award-winning portrayal of learning to live and love with dementia, is running from 31 March to 22 April 2023. The play is also directed by Barney Norris (The Wellspring – Royal and Derngate, Nightfall – The Bridge Theatre).
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, based on the best-selling novel by Kate Summerscale and adapted for the stage by playwright Alexandra Wood (Silence – Donmar, Wild Swans – Young Vic) will run from 5 May to 10 June 2023. A dramatic tale of real-life murder that inspired the birth of modern detective fiction, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is the original Victorian whodunnit.
The season ends with a co-production with acclaimed Zimbabwean company Two Gents (The Moors – Tara Theatre, Kupenga Kwa Hamlet – The Watermill and UK tour), which explores connections to New World Slavery in Jane Austen’s classic novel Mansfield Park. This outdoor production, which tours to rural locations in Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire before running in The Watermill gardens from 28 June to 8 July 2023, is directed and adapted by Tonderai Munyevu and Arne Pohlmeier – will complete its run at .
Artistic Director of The Watermill, Paul Hart, said, “In this diverse combination of work we’re reinventing how we see ourselves as we explore and celebrate the life and history of our nation. With Bill Bryson’s acerbic observational wit, Notes from a Small Island invites us to see the UK afresh from the viewpoint of a critical friend, while in the topsy turvey world of Through the Looking Glass the relatable young Alice finds reality in absurdity. We’re ripping up Mansfield Park in collaboration with Two Gents Productions, uncovering buried conversations in a much-loved classic text. A brand-new production of Visitors takes on new resonance post pandemic as we assess the damage to individual lives and the impact on the care system, and domestic extremes are explored further in the first ever stage adaptation of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher which delves into a fascinating murder in Victorian England which led to a national outcry.”