Berkshire

Newbury theatre opens for socially distanced summer season

Watermill Theatre production Image copyright PAMELA RAITH
Image caption Audiences turned out for a socially distanced production outside the Watermill Theatre in Newbury

A theatre has become the first in Berkshire to reopen with new social distancing rules in place.

Audiences will be able to watch outdoor productions at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury from 20 socially-distanced tables of four.

There will be hand sanitizer stations, a one-way system for accessing the toilets and signage to indicate routes and procedures, the theatre said.

Artistic director Paul Hart said he was "thrilled" to be opening.

Image copyright PAMELA RAITH
Image caption The audience were kept apart during the production
Image copyright PAMELA RAITH
Image caption The show was a comedy version of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles

The first show was a comedy version of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, which is running until 8 August, followed by a concert version of Lerner and Loewe's Camelot, running from 17-29 August.

Mr 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!'"

He said he was "immensely proud" of the team who had worked "day and night" to make this happen.

Image copyright PAMELA RAITH
Image caption Artistic director Paul said he was "thrilled" to be opening for summer

He added: "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."