The Mill at Sonning to produce the world premiere of ‘The Whistling’ based on the bone-chilling novel by Rebecca Netley

The Mill at Sonning to produce the world premiere of
‘The Whistling’
based on the bone-chilling novel by Rebecca Netley

The first play adaptation commissioned by The Mill at Sonning

‘The Whistling’, a chilling and gripping ghost story set on a far-flung Scottish island, will run 27 September – 16 November, 2024 in The Mill at Sonning’s 2023/2024 season.

Duncan Abel and Rachel Wagstaff (‘The Girl on the Train’), who have adapted the debut novel (‘Wonderfully atmospheric, genuinely eerie’ – The Guardian) by local Reading author Rebecca Netley, said: “We’re thrilled to be adapting Rebecca’s ‘The Whistling’ for the stage.

“This is a chilling tale of a young woman who is haunted not only by the events on a remote Scottish island, but also by her own past. ‘The Whistling’ is more than a ghost story; it is also a thrilling mystery, and a tale of loss and grief.

“We aim to draw upon the unique setting of The Mill at Sonning to evoke an atmosphere where live audiences will feel as if they are part of the small island community, in which dark secrets unravel before their eyes.”

Adam Rolston, the Associate Artistic Director of The Mill, said: “This commission marks an exciting new departure for us. We are known for staging classic musicals as well as comedies and stage thrillers. This book is the first of many properties we intend to bring to the stage as world premieres.”Duncan Abel and Rachel Wagstaff previously adapted Paula Hawkins’ ‘The Girl on the Train’, which had a record-breaking UK tour and West End run in 2019 and Rachel’s new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mirror Crack’d’ recently toured the UK.

Rachel wrote the book for the multi-award winning musical ‘Flowers for Mrs Harris’ (Best Musical, UK Theatre Awards 2016), which transferred to Chichester Festival Theatre, directed by Daniel Evans, in September 2018 after a run at the Sheffield Crucible, and can currently be seen at Riverside Studios.

Her critically acclaimed adaptation of ‘Birdsong’ opened in the West End, directed by Trevor Nunn, and enjoyed four UK tours.

Duncan Abel is a writer of plays, radio plays and short stories. Duncan was shortlisted for the 2010 Luke Bitmead Award for his novel ‘The Way Home’. He also wrote, with Rachel Wagstaff, a monologue for ‘Sing London’, based on the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, performed by Hugh Bonneville, recorded in 2014.

The Mill also announces today that the final production of their 2023/24 season will be Jerome K. Jerome classic, ‘Three Men in a Boat’, adapted by Clive Francis. It will run 6 June – 13 July, 2024.

The Mill at Sonning

Set majestically on the banks of the River Thames, the Mill at Sonning Theatre now celebrates more than 40 years of entertainment. Uniquely, as the only dinner theatre in the United Kingdom, it has gained unrivalled praise both nationally and internationally.

Directors, designers, actors, musicians, of the highest quality help maintain its exceptional reputation. Many new plays premiere here from established to young up-and-coming writers. All productions are created on the premises. Nothing is ‘brought in’. Rehearsal rooms buzz with activity. Sets are built in our workshop. Costumes designed and made in our wardrobe. In our kitchens, fresh food is prepared daily.

The intimate theatre seats 217 in the semi-round allowing the audience to feel involved in the performance. The elegant restaurant, separate from the theatre but within the premises, with views over the sparkling Thames has the friendliest young staff of waiters and waitresses. A spinning waterwheel features in the cosy bar.

The Mill at Sonning Theatre
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The Mill is a 10 minute taxi ride from Reading, Twyford, Earley and Wargrave stations