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Northanger Abbey reimagined

Poster for the 2024 production of Northanger Abbey

With a cast of only three, playwright Zoe Cooper's "playful reimagining" of Jane Austin's Northanger Abbey promises to be somethimg more than a straight costume drama.

The show, a co-production between Bolton Octagon, London's Orange Tree Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, opens at the Orange Tree in January then tours to the Octagon (March 1-23); Stephen Joseph Theatre (March 27–April 13) and Theatre by the Lake (April 27–May 17).

Catherine Morland knows little of the world, but who needs real-life experience when you have novels to guide you? Catherine seizes her chance to escape her claustrophobic family and join the smart set in Bath and between balls and parties meets worldly, sophisticated Isabella Thorpe – Iz, to her friends, and so Cath’s adventure begins.

Left to right (above) Rebecca Banatvala (Sap, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Soho Theatre, UK Tour, Much Ado About Nothing, RSC) plays Cath; AK Golding (Twelfth Night, Nottingham Playhouse, The Messiah Complex, VAULT Festival) is Iz and Sam Newton (A Woman Walks into a Bank, Theatre503) plays Henry.

Zoe Cooper said: “Northanger Abbey is a novel about friendship, love, romance and fantasy and how those things collide. What struck me on my first reading, as a queer nineteen-year-old, was that the central romantic relationship is between the romantic heroine and her best friend. It is that version of the book I wanted to explore.”

Director Tessa Walker added: “It’s a wonderful, playful tale of romance, gothic adventures, growing up, and the importance of stories and who gets to tell them.”

More info and tickets here (Bolton), here (SJT) and here (TBTL)


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