Full casting and creative team have been announced for the world premiere of CAMP ALBION, a new play by Danielle Pearson (Watermill Associate Artist, previous credits include A Christmas Carol, A Mini Summer Night’s Dream, D Day 75, Jane Eyre), directed by Georgie Staight (Watermill Creative Associate, previous credits include A Christmas Carol and D Day 75) and designed by Isobel Nicolson (Watermill Creative Associate, previous credits include A Christmas Carol, Lone Flyer and D Day 75). Camp Albion – a play about environmental activism and the 1996 ‘Battle of Newbury’ – will play at The Watermill from Wednesday 6 July until Saturday 16 July.
CAMP ALBION will also tour across the region from 15 June, visiting villages in Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire for open air performances. The Camp Albion Festival will run alongside the production, with interactive workshops for all the family to explore the themes of the play.
‘I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…’
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.
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. A new play with music, Camp Albion explores the heroism, humour and heated debate of this extraordinary moment in the town’s history.
Hannah Brown (The Magician’s Elephant – RSC, Preludes – Southwark Playhouse) will play ‘Cassie’,
Kate Russell-Smith (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child – The Palace Theatre, A Curmudgeon’s Guide To Round Robin Christmas Letters – The Hope Theatre – Offie nominated for Best Actress) will play ‘Foxglove Sue / Viv’ and Joe Swift (Pool (No Water) – The Royal Court, The Greatest Hits Of Lily And John – The Other Palace) will play ‘Dylan’.
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.