The Watermill

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Bagnor, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 8AE T: 01635 46044

The Watermill in Newbury

The Watermill, Newbury

The Watermill Theatre is a privately owned repertory theatre. It is a converted watermill with gardens beside the River Lambourn, in Bagnor, near Newbury, Berkshire, England. It retains many of its original architectural features such as the waterwheel, which is viewed through a screen on entry to the auditorium; also wooden beams and corn chutes, which protrude incongruously through the lighting arrays.

The theatre seats around 220 people in the stalls and a gallery and sometimes the seats are arranged 'in the round'. Often a summer production will have the first act performed in the garden of the theatre, which will have been specially set up. The stage is particularly small, around 4 m x 7 m, which means that only plays with 'small' casts are possible, the largest so far being around 14. Despite this musicals are still regularly performed, and Jill Fraser was one of the very few artistic directors who dared to premiere new work. Among her notable Watermill premieres were works by Vivian Ellis award-winners George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, and the cult hit 'The Great Big Radio Show!' by Philip Glassborow.