New stage version of Jane Austen classic
Hot on the heels of Bath's Jane Austen Festival a new stage adaptation of Mansfield Park comes to the Theatre Royal Bath
The play of the book opens next Monday and features authentic period design and sumptuous Regency costumes, in a new stage adaptation by acclaimed Austen specialist Tim Luscombe.
Unceremoniously uprooted from her humble family home, intelligent young Fanny Price is dropped into the bustling, aristocratic household of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, where she finds herself buffeted from one crisis to the next in the company of her cousins and their well-to-do friends. Yet throughout this turmoil one thing remains a constant – her love for the generous, worthy and steadfast Edmund Bertram.
But will this love be her salvation? Can Fanny triumph over her adoptive family's demands and follow her heart to acquire the husband and life she so desires and deserves? Or will she be forced to marry the charismatic Henry Crawford for connections and wealth alone?
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Brought to life on television in 1999 and 2007 in adaptations starring Billie Piper, Frances O'Conner and Johnny Lee Miller, now Mansfield Park appears on stage in Tim Luscombe's elegant and spellbinding re-telling of Jane Austen's captivating novel, produced by the very last Regency-era theatre in the country, the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, directed by Colin Blumenau.
The role of Fanny Price is played by Ffion Jolly, who was nominated for the Ian Charleston Award for Best Actress for her role in The Comedy of Errors at Bristol's Tobacco Factory, where she has performed many times. Karen Ascoe, who plays the roles of Mrs Price and Mrs Norris, was last seen at the Theatre Royal Bath in The Letter in 2007, a production which transferred to the West End, and in Season's Greetings in 2011. Her television credits include Doctors, Casualty, EastEnders and The Armando Iannucci Show.
Richard Heap plays the roles of Sir Thomas and Mr Price. His stage work includes performances for the National Theatre, Salisbury Playhouse, Compass Theatre and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. He last performed at the Theatre Royal Bath in The Winter's Tale in 2002, and his television credits include Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Heartbeat, EastEnders and Cold Feet.
Recently seen at the Theatre Royal Bath in Shared Experience's 2011 production of Bronte, Kristin Atherton returns to play the role of Mary Crawford.
Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk
This week we have a pair of tickets to give away for Monday night's opening performance. Just answer the following question, put your answer on a postcard with your name and telephone number and send it to Theatre Royal Competition, The Bath Chronicle, Westpoint, James Street West, Bath BA1 2DA.
The first correct answer out of the hat on Monday morning will get the tickets. The question is: who has written the stage adaptation for Mansfield Park?