- A type of dramatic spectacle, popular in the 18th and 19thcenturies, in which the acting area was filled with water and navalbattles etc. were staged. The vogue originated in Paris, where itwas popularized by circuses and the New Aquatic Theatre. In Londonaquatic dramas, often featuring historical engagements such as theBattle of Trafalgar, were staged at such major theaters as Drury Lane,Covent Garden, and Sadler's Wells. At Sadler's Wells, which brieflychanged its name in the 1830s to the Aquatic Theatre, a large tankwas filled from the New River.
More recently, Alan Ayckbourn's black comedy Way Upstream(1982) required a canal boat floating on real water.