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Austen The Musical at two London venues and on tour

Austen The Musical

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AUSTEN The Musical will visit two London venues – the Bread and Roses Theatre (January 16 – 20) and the Mirth, Marvel and Maud Theatre (January 22 – 24, 2018) – as part of a UK tour.

A celebration of one of the greatest British writers, Jane Austen, Rob Winlow’s new musical reveals the woman behind the words. Following the bicentennial of her death, this is a portrait of an icon as a human being.

Austen The Musical investigates the life of an author struggling as much with affairs of the heart as with ambitions for her art.

By turns comical, tragic, and enchanting, Austen The Musical explores the challenges a female novelist faces in patriarchal Georgian England. As Jane struggles to be published, she experiences the pressures, pleasures, and pitfalls of courtship with multiple suitors.

The story remains resonant and poignant in these turbulent times as the fight for gender equality continues.

Writer Rob Winlow said: “The starting point and the question we ask, and ultimately try to answer, in the show, is how come Jane Austen wrote so eloquently about romantic affairs when she had seemingly few loving relationships and never married?”

Edith Kirkwood (Peculiar Distractions, York Theatre Royal) features as Jane Austen, with Thomas Hewitt (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Lyric Hammersmith/National Tour) playing the suitors, and Jenni Lea-Jones (The Mikado, Illyria Theatre National Tour) and Adam Grayson (Jonathan Creek) as Jane’s parents.

Austen The Musical is directed by Timothy Trimingham Lee (Buried Child, Upstairs at the Gatehouse) and has musical direction by Arlene McNaught (The Good Person of Szechwan, Bridewell Theatre).

Rob Winlow wrote his first musical when he was 16 and won the All England Song Contest in 1982. His previous writing includes Armada the Musical, which was presented at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Austen The Musical has been presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Jane Austen Festival, York New Musical Festival and on a small UK tour. It was developed with support from York New Musical Festival and John Cooper Studio.

Following the London dates, the production will tour to Stamford, Beverley, Bromsgrove, Fife, Harborough and Winchester.