Saturday, July 20

Production photos released for Three Men In A Boat at the The Mill at Sonning Theatre

Jerome K. Jerome’s classic Victorian memoir, Three Men In A Boat has been gloriously adapted by celebrated star of stage and screen, Clive Francis (The Crown, A Clockwork Orange, Entertaining Mr. Sloane) preserving the timeless humour and infusing it with a fresh and vibrant touch for contemporary audiences.

This warm and witty play invites you on an uproarious journey down the meandering waters of the Thames with the delightful trio of friends Harris, George, and Jerome, as they set sail on an unforgettable adventure through the English countryside, each twist and turn bringing a fresh dose of laughter and unexpected encounters. So, pack your bags, grab your oars, and prepare to be swept away by the camaraderie, and mischievous antics of this unforgettable trio, as they navigate not just the river’s currents but the comical currents of life itself.

Photo: Andreas Lambis

When in 1889 Jerome K Jerome took his fictionalised friends up the Thames in a rowing boat  – describing Sonning as being “the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river…more like a stage village than one built of bricks and mortar” – his book was an instant success. Within a year river boating licences had doubled; Jerome had created a lifestyle craze. And the book has never been out of print since…

Director Joe Harmston says: “I’ve chosen to move the play’s action forward in time to the years shortly before the First World War to add some piquancy to our perception of Jerome, Harris and George’s antics.  I’ve also cast younger men than is sometimes the case. These three are not filling time at the end of their lives but searching for adventure in their prime.  In but a few short years they will have an existentially great game to be part of, and when that comes the world of pottering about on the river will in many ways be exactly what they are fighting for. Identity is forged in adversity not in the milk and honey of peaceful prosperity. In the last decade the English have been asked questions about who they are and want to be in an unprecedented manner. Perhaps that’s why we return to our metaphorical oars now and take to the river where so much remains unchanged. What I hope we find as we pull against the flow of the Thames is three generous-spirited, open-minded men, bound together in the fellowship of shared experience. What I hope we take away is that we can inherit from our past qualities entirely suited to an exciting and very different future.”


Three Me In A Boat

by Jerome K. Jerome

Adapted by Clive Francis

Directed Joe Harmston

The Mill at Sonning Theatre

Sonning Eye



6th June – 13th July 2024