Laura Wade’s Jane Austen play The Watsons to transfer to Harold Pinter Theatre
Laura Wade’s new play The Watsons, adapted from the unfinished novel by Jane Austen, is set for a West End run at the Harold Pinter Theatre following its runs in Chichester and at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Directed by Samuel West, The Watsons centres on Emma Watson – the central character of Austen’s abandoned book The Watsons. Emma has been cut off by her wealthy aunt, and is on the look out for a wealthy suitor at the risk of being left in a life of poverty. The original novel ends with two possible boyfriends on the table: socialite Tom Musgrave, and the rich by awkward Lord Osborne.
Wade’s witty play continues the story, imagining what might have been. It will transfer to the Harold Pinter Theatre with previews from 8th May, an official opening night on 19th May and a final performance on 26th September.
The playwright’s last production to run in the West End was the Olivier Award-winning comedy Home, I’m Darling. While she’s also written Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Hammersmith), Posh (Royal Court) and Kreutzer vs. Kreutzer (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse).
Samuel West’s previous directional credits include After Electra at the Tricycle, Waste at the Almeida and Dealer’s Choice at the Menier. He was the artistic director of Sheffield Theatres from 20005 to 2007.
In a four-star review of the Menier Chocolate Factory production – which ends on Saturday – Mark Shenton hailed the play one that “celebrates Austen and teases her into embracing new contemporary thoughts and ideas with refreshing vigour”.
The cast of the Menier production featured Grace Molony and Louise Ford, while casting for the West End transfer is yet to be confirmed.
The Watsons has designs by Ben Stones, lighting by Richard Howell, sound design by Gregory Clarke, movement by Mike Ashcroft, music by Isobel Waller-Bridge and casting by Charlotte Sutton.
The Watsons tickets go on sale tomorrow.
Photo credit: Johan Persson