The Watsons – A critically acclaimed classic
It's hot news: Laura Wade’s critically acclaimed play The Watsons transfers to the West End following a smash hit run, originally produced at the Chichester Festival before enjoying its world premiere at the Minerva Theatre in late 2018, a complete sell-out. It scored a big sold-out hit at the Menier Chocolate Factory too. And it's due in theatreland's Harold Pinter theatre for May 2020.
The Guardian says this is a 'beautifully bold production. A stunning play.' According to Variety magazine 'Laura Wade triumphs spinning Jane Austen into major theatrical gold'. Both Metro and Stage magazine have awarded it five stars and it has also gathered a large number of four star reviews from respected critics. It's a Chocolate Factory Production and a Sonia Friedman Production, and it's directed by Samuel West.
As The Times says, 'Jane Austen has never been quite as much fun'. So what's going on? Emma Watson is nineteen years old and new in town. She has no money, having been cut off by her rich aunt. She's in dire financial straits and needs to marry... quickly. Otherwise she'll face the fate of all spinsters at the time: a horrid life of poverty, stuck forever at home.
Thankfully Emma's a popular girl who attracts lots of suitors. But how does a girl choose between the dashing social success Tom Musgrave and the ridiculously wealthy but socially petrified Lord Osborne? The original book, by Jane Austen, was never finished. She abandoned it in 1803, nobody knows why, and several authors in the intervening years have had a go at finishing it off. More than two hundred years later it still has the power to delight, and this new version by Wade is quite simply superb.
The Designer is Ben Stones and the Lighting Designer is Richard Howell. Sound Design comes from Gregory Clarke and Movement from Mike Ashcroft. The music is by Isobel Waller-Bridge and the Casting Director is Charlotte Sutton. The result is an 'ingenious and triumphant’ (Evening Standard) comedy that has an unusually funny premise: what goes on when an author completely loses the plot and the fictional characters take control of their own story? Hilarity, that's what!
Laura Wade is an Olivier award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her last West End hit was the Olivier Award-winning comedy Home, I’m Darling. She also wrote Tipping the Velvet, Posh, and Kreutzer vs. Kreutzer. Samuel West has scored hits with After Electra, Waste, and Dealer’s Choice.
If you like your period dramas to be fun, this one's for you. It's brilliant. As The Guardian's Michael Billington says: 'Writers sometimes tell you that a character has the capacity to dictate events. Wade has seized on this tension between authorial control and imaginative freedom to create a stunning play.'
Who is this show for?
This play is witty and fun, and while there's no official age recommendation yet, we think it'll entertain people aged 12 and above.
What to expect:Acting
Recommended for:Anyone (0%)
A thoroughly good tale with a twist for Jane Austen lovers.
Reviewed on 24 October 2019 by Jane, Eltham, United Kingdom