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Rural tour of play on 1996 Newbury Bypass protests under way



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The world premiere of Camp Albion, a new play about environmental activism and the 1996 ‘Battle of Newbury’ - by the Watermill's associate artist Danielle Pearson is under way and touring the region, prior to a run at The Watermill from Wednesday, July 6 until Saturday 16.

It is visiting villages in Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire for open air performances, including Hermitage, East Garston, Aldworth, Aldbourne, Bradfield and Welford. For a list of venues the production is still to visit see below.

In a time before smartphones, Twitter, Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, the ‘Third Battle of Newbury’ was one of the definitive environmental campaigns of the 1990s. This new play with music, explores the heroism, humour and heated debate of this extraordinary moment in the town’s history.

Camp Albion at East Garston, picture Pamela Raith
Camp Albion at East Garston, picture Pamela Raith

Newbury, 1996. Nine miles of ancient woodland under threat, and the local community bitterly divided over the proposed route of the new bypass. When Cassie returns home for the university holidays, she meets Dylan, a beguiling road protester who draws her into a world of rickety treehouses, lentil stew, druidic rituals and stoic resistance. But her mother has other ideas, and as battle lines are drawn, Cassie must face the personal cost of activism.

Danielle Pearson said: “Camp Albion is a story I've been itching to tell for years. It's a love letter to my hometown, a coming-of-age tale, and an exploration of the personal cost of activism. It's a true honour to be bringing it to life with this fantastic cast and creative team, and I can't wait to share this piece as part of the Watermill's 2022 rural tour.”

Directed by Georgie Staight and designed by Isobel Nicolson, CAMP ALBION has lighting by Lucía Sánchez Roldán and sound by Anna Short, with musical arrangements by Joe Swift. The Stage Management team consists of Emily Stedman (DSM) and Izzy Moore (ASM), Saxon Hutchman as Technical ASM, with audio description by Joanna Myers.

Camp Albion at East Garston, picture Pamela Raith
Camp Albion at East Garston, picture Pamela Raith

Tour Dates:

More details at www.watermill.org.uk

All performances begin at 7pm.

  • Saturday, June 18

Hermitage Village Hall

Tickets £10

Book via Eventbrite

  • Tuesday, June 21

The Crown, Broad Hinton

Tickets £15

Book via email

  • Wednesday, June 22

Manor Barn, Wootton Rivers

Tickets £20 to include a light supper

Book via email

  • Thursday, June 23

Aldworth Village Hall

Tickets £15

Book via email

  • Friday, June 24

Stanton Harcourt Village Hall Garden

Tickets £12 adults, £8 youth (18 and under)

Book via email

  • Saturday, June 25

Bradfield Village Hall

Tickets £15

Book via website

  • Monday, June 27

Shrivenham Memorial Hall

Tickets £15, £10 under 16s

Book via Ticket Source

  • Tuesday, June 28

St Mary Bourne (The Recreation Ground)

Tickets £5 in advance, £7.50 at the door

Book via email

  • Wednesday, June 29

The Old Manor, Aldbourne

Tickets £12

Book via email

  • Friday, July 1

Welford Park (Aline’s Orchard)

Tickets £12 for ticket only, £20 to include BBQ with tea/coffee and reserved picnic table

To book tickets, visit www.welfordpark.co.uk

  • Saturday, July 2

Goodworth Clatford Village Club

Tickets £15

Book via Try Booking

The Camp Albion Festival will run alongside the production, with interactive workshops for all the family to explore the themes of the play.

The Camp Albion Festival runs from July 5 and offers a series of fun-filled interactive workshops for all the family to explore the themes of the play. Tickets for Storytelling and Story Adventures sessions start from £5. Tickets to all other festival events are Pay What You Can.

  • Tuesday, July 5: Camp Albion Festival: Story Adventures, 10.30 -11.15am, tickets: £6 per child, £9 for a family Tuesday, July 5: Camp Albion Festival: Authors Insight with Nicola Chester, 7.30pm - 9pm, tickets: Pay What You Can Thursday, July 7: Camp Albion Festival: Sustainable Sets Talk, 10am - 1pm, tickets: Pay What You Can Wednesday, July 13: Camp Albion Festival: Creative Writing for ages 8-14 years, 5pm - 6.30pm, tickets: Pay What You Can Wednesday, July 13: Camp Albion Festival: Creative Writing for ages 14+ years, 6.45pm - 8.45pm, tickets: Pay What You Can Saturday, July 16: Camp Albion Festival: Storytelling for ages 3-8 years, 10.30am -11.15am and 11.30 - 12.15pm, tickets £5


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