The incomplete story gets an ending courtesy of Olivier-winning playwright Laura Wade (Posh, Home I'm Darling) in her post-modern play The Watsons. It transfers to London's Menier Chocolate Factory after an impressive opening at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2018.
Incorporating playful meta-theatre into the Regency romance, the drama follows eligible, elegant Emma Watson (no connection to Hermione Granger). Cut off by her rich aunt, she must marry swiftly to avoid a future of spinsterhood and poverty. Austen's unfinished manuscript never tells us whether Miss Watson chooses the handsome cad, the wealthy bachelor or the earnest vicar to be her husband, but the author sister subsequently suggested that it was supposed to be the serious clergyman.
Wade uses this unlikely ending as a way in to the text, as the playwright herself begins to participate in the drama and interact with the characters.
Samuel West directs a lively production, which was hailed as 'bursting with ideas' and fizzing with life by critics at the Chichester opening.
Public booking for The Watsons at Menier Chocolate Factory opens at 9am on Wednesday 3 July.
|What||The Watsons, Menier Chocolate Factory|
|Where||Menier Chocolate Factory, 53 Southwark St, London , SE1 1RU | MAP|
|Nearest tube||London Bridge (underground)|
20 Sep 19 – 16 Nov 19, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here for more info and to book|