Follow Us on Twitter

Chichester Festival Theatre's production of The Watsons transfers to the Menier Chocolate Factory

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a sell-out season at the Chichester Festival Theatre last year, The Watsons is transferring to the Menier Chocolate Factory. A new play by Laura Wade, adapted from the unfinished novel by Jane Austen, it runs from September 20 to November 16, 2019.

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 asks: what can characters do when their author abandons them?

The Watsons is directed by Samuel West and is designed by Ben Stones, with sound by Gregory Clarke. Casting has not yet been announced.

Tennessee Williams’ Deep South American drama Orpheus Descending continues at the Menier Chocolate Factory until July 6. It will be followed – from July 13 to September 14, 2019 – by The Bridges of Madison County, starring Jenna Russell as Francesca and Edward Baker-Duly as Robert.