Barnum musical revival to run at Watermill Theatre

Barnum poster

The Watermill Theatre has unveiled its full lineup for the 2024 season, following its recent accolade as Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards.

The highlight of the summer will be the revival of the Olivier and Tony award-nominated musical Barnum, scheduled to run at the Newbury venue from 2 July to 8 September.

This production promises to captivate audiences with the mesmerising tale of P.T. Barnum, blending actor-musicians and circus performers under the direction of Jonathan O’Boyle and choreography by Oti Mabuse.

Starting the season on 12 April is Much Ado About Nothing, reimagined by the Watermill Ensemble with a 1940s Hollywood twist. This adaptation promises a blend of Shakespeare’s wit with the charm of the Golden Age of cinema, complete with a live soundscape.

The world premiere of FANNY follows, a new comedy that shines a light on Fanny Mendelssohn’s unrecognized contributions to her brother Felix’s success. Charlie Russell stars in this piece that debuts from 23 May to 15 June.

Autumn brings The King’s Speech to The Watermill, a new production directed by Emma Butler, focusing on the unique relationship between King George VI and his speech therapist. The season will conclude with a festive production of Pinocchio, a musical adaptation running from 15 November to 5 January 2025, promising a magical journey for the whole family.

In addition to these main productions, The Watermill will host the debut of Princess Smartypants, a comedy night headlined by Laura Lexx, and a new Farmer’s Market, showcasing local produce.

Paul Hart expressed his pride in the diverse range of offerings, from new writings to fresh takes on classic titles, while Claire Murray highlighted the importance of community support and introduced new membership levels to enhance engagement with The Watermill.

For more information and tickets, visit

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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