Islington theatre to stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliott in Persuasion at the Rosemary Branch Theatre

Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliott in Persuasion at the Rosemary Branch Theatre - Credit: Archant

Jane Austen’s last completed novel, Persuasion, is perhaps less well-known than Pride and Prejudice or Emma – and certainly it has been adapted for TV and film far fewer times.

But this tender story of love lost and – eventually – won again is a firm favourite among Austen scholars for its gentle heroine and mature storyline.

This classic tale, written shortly before Austen’s death exactly 200 years ago, is now to be adapted

for the stage at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in Canonbury.

The play tells the story of 27-year-old Anne Elliott, who eight years earlier was persuaded to break off her engagement to the dashing sailor Frederick Wentworth, who then had no fortune or rank.

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Now a captain, Wentworth comes crashing back into her world, and we watch as she hides her inner turmoil at seeing him again.

Adapted by Bryony J Thompson, a cast of just six will play the silly sisters, bumbling brothers-in-law and meddling dames to bring the story to life.

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Promising to be a faithful adaptation, Anne’s thoughts will be voiced on stage so the audience can hear her wrestling with her feelings and trying to decide

what is the right thing to do.

It’ll all be capped off with a reading of what is often regarded as one of the most romantic love letters in English literature.

The show runs from May 4 until May 22, Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm and Sunday at 6pm. Tickets £10 on the opening night and all Tuesdays, £14 (£11 concessions) after.

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