Monday, 9 April 2018

Gemma Sutton to star in The Watermill Theatre SWEET CHARITY, New Season announced

The Watermill Theatre’s new season, announced today by Artistic Director, Paul Hart, includes the funny and poignant musical SWEET CHARITY, and the premieres of three new plays, including TRIAL BY LAUGHTER, by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. Booking opens on Monday 23 April with Friends of The Watermill priority booking from Monday 16 April.

Hart says: ‘With new plays, three London transfers and three Watermill productions on tour nationally, and one touring to local schools, our programme is ambitious and varied. We continue our commitment to championing new artists and work, and to taking our productions beyond The Watermill to an ever-increasing audience.’

Directed by Paul Hart, SWEET CHARITY will be brought up-to-date in a bold reimagining with Gemma Sutton as Charity. Gemma’s credits include Strictly Ballroom(West Yorkshire Playhouse/ The Princess of Wales Theatre), The Go Between (Apollo Theatre), Gypsy (Savoy Theatre) and Carousel (Arcola Theatre). Sarah Travis, who has a long-standing association with The Watermill Theatre as orchestrator, musical supervisor and composer, returns to work alongside Charlie Ingles on the score by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields, adapting it for a company of actor-musicians. Choreography will be by Tom Jackson Greaves whose recent credits include: Teddy (Watermill/The Vaults), Paint Your Wagon (Liverpool Everyman), Spring Awakening (Manchester Hope Mill).

Hart says: ‘In a year of revelations about exploitation of women SWEET CHARITY seems timely. There’s an argument that attitudes haven’t moved on enough since the piece was written - something we’re fascinated to explore. Bringing The Watermill’s unique treatment to a musical that cries out for dynamic use of instrumentation will give a bold twist to songs like I’m a Brass Band and The Rhythm of Life.’ 

SWEET CHARITY runs at the theatre from 26 July to 15 September.

Inspired by extraordinary real-life events, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s new play, TRIAL BY LAUGHTER based on their original Radio 4 drama, tells the story of a forgotten hero of free speech. William Hone, a bookseller, publisher and satirist was at the centre of one of the most remarkable legal cases of its time. TRIAL BY LAUGHTER will run from 20 September to 27 October. It is a Watermill Theatre and Trademark Touring production and is directed by Caroline Leslie. Ian Hislop and Nick Newman return to The Watermill following the success of their critically acclaimed play The Wipers Times which tours again until 1 December 2018 and transfers for a second time to the West End in October 2018.

The Watermill’s Christmas show is a new adaptation of ROBIN HOOD, by acclaimed children’s author Laura Dockrill. Laura is author of numerous bestselling books and poetry collections including the popular Darcy Burdock series. Music is by Hugo White (The Maccabees) and Laura Keefe will direct. Extended by a week to meet demand, ROBIN HOOD runs from 15 November to 5 January 2019. 

Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, JANE EYRE is brought to life by three actors in a fast-paced, stripped back new adaptation by The Watermill Theatre’s writer in residence, Danielle Pearson. Directed by Chloe France, JANE EYRE is at The Watermill from 29 October to 2 November and then tours to schools until 23 November.

The Watermill Young Company will present Noël Coward’s EASY VIRTUE from 7 November to 10 November. Directed by Seamus Allen the Company, aged 16 to 25, will recreate the glamour and scandal of the Roaring Twenties in Coward’s comic melodrama. 

Also announced today is that the Watermill Ensemble’s hit production of TWELFTH NIGHT (which toured nationally and internationally last year), transfers to Wilton’s Music Hall from Wednesday 12 to Saturday 22 September. The production is inspired by the 1920’s with a modern twist and features inventive use of actor-musicianship. It follows the transfer of Frankenstein to the same venue last year.

Following its run at The Watermill earlier this year, TEDDY, presented by Sarah Loader for Snapdragon Productions and The Watermill Theatre, continues its run at The Vaults until 3 June following a UK tour.

Crazy For You, produced by The Watermill in association with Jamie Wilson and Gavin Kalin, continues its UK tour until 9 June.
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