A celebration of one of the greatest British writers, Jane Austen, Rob Winlow’s new musical Austen reveals the woman behind the words, and it tours the UK this Spring. Following the bicentennial of her death, this is a portrait of an icon as a human being. Austen 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 is a musical that 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.
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) & Adam Grayson (Jonathan Creek, BBC) as Jane’s parents. Timothy Trimingham Lee (Buried Child, Upstairs at the Gatehouse) directs and Arlene McNaught (The Good Person of Szechwan, Bridewell Theatre) provides musical direction. Rob Winlow wrote his first musical when he was 16 and won the All England Song Contest in 1982. Previous writing includes Armada the Musical, which was presented at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Austen 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.
Jan 11th – 13th, Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Jan 16th – 20th, The Bread & Roses Theatre, London
Jan 22nd – 24th, Mirth, Marvel & Maud Theatre, London
Jan 25th, Stamford Corn Exchange, Stamford
Jan 26th – 27th, East Riding Theatre, Beverley
Feb 8th, Artix, Bromsgrove
Feb 27th – 28th, Rothes Hall, Fife
Mar 7th , Harborough Theatre, Harborough
Mar 28th – 29th, Chesil Theatre, Winchester