Laura Wade’s bold and playful adaptation of Austen’s unfinished novel is given a beautifully bold, clear production by Samuel West. Stunning.Guardian
Clever, witty and resourceful.The Stage
An unpredictable treat, a brilliant, entertaining de-constructionThe Observer
What happens when the writer loses the plot?
Emma Watson is nineteen and new in town. She’s been cut off by her rich aunt and dumped back in the family home. Emma and her sisters must marry, fast. If not, they face poverty, spinsterhood, or worse: an eternity with their boorish brother and his awful wife.
Luckily there are plenty of potential suitors to dance with, from flirtatious Tom Musgrave to castle-owning Lord Osborne, who’s as awkward as he is rich.
So far so familiar. But there’s a problem: Jane Austen didn’t finish the story. Who will write Emma’s happy ending now?
Based on her incomplete novel, this sparklingly witty play looks under the bonnet of Jane Austen and asks: what can characters do when their author abandons them?
Laura Wade’s hit play Posh transferred to the West End from the Royal Court, and then onto the big screen as The Riot Club. Recent work includes the adaptation of Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Hammersmith and Edinburgh); her play Home I’m Darling premieres at Theatr Clwyd and the National Theatre in 2018.
Samuel West returns to Chichester to direct the play. He has appeared here as an actor in Young Chekhov and ENRON, and directed Three Women and A Piano Tuner and The Lady's Not For Burning. He was Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres 2005-07, where he revived The Romans in Britain.
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Our programmes are designed to be the perfect insightful companion to the production. In this programme John Mullan writes about Jane Austen inspired novels and spin-offs on the stage and screen and the lure of the unfinished novel. There is also a timeline of the World of Jane Austen from 1775-1817. In addition, the programme includes rehearsal photography, biographies, events and news from the Theatre.
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