The Watermill Theatre in Newbury runs a program (called Fourth Wall) aided by the Greenham Trust to present a play starring adults with learning difficulties. The latest production ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde is the seventh production. Previous plays were: Under Milk Wood, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Frankenstein, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night and Jane Eyre. This was Myles’ fifth play at the Watermill.
The Theatre puts on a play with professional actors, which is then differentiated and reduced from about 2 hours to around 45 minutes for special needs requirements. The play ran from May 23rd to 29thJune with our version being performed on Thursday 27thJune.
The program lasts for eight weeks and is held each Thursday at the theatre. Three sessions to learn the play, three to rehearse, one to see the professional performance and the final one to perform their version to an invited audience.
Each character in the play has a photo of the Watermill professional actor and a hat associated with it. This helps those involved to identify with their character, and recognise the actors, when they watch the Watermill show.
After the learning sessions characters are assigned:
Myles was assigned the character of Miss Prism. Each actor is given their lines to take home and learn. He loves it and is happy becoming ‘someone else’ and acting out his character for an audience.
The rehearsing sessions are held in one of the studios.
Their performance was well received by the audience; this is them taking a bow…
The professional cast met with them afterwards…
Myles is looking forward to the next production.