Last night, I attended press night for Persuasion; a fresh, glittering, sensational adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic. Right now you can grab tickets for as little as £20 in our Show Time sale. As a first-time visitor to the Rose Theatre in Kingston, here are my thoughts on the experience and why you should definitely pay a visit.
If you haven’t been to Kingston, it’s nestled by the Thames and has to be one of London’s prettiest areas. The walk from the train station took me through pedestrianised streets, full of boutique shops and sparkling fairy lights. The area is buzzing with life, and you’re spoiled for choice of a pre-theatre dinner with plenty of vibrant restaurants.
The Rose Theatre
Inside the Rose Theatre, you’ll find a spacious foyer and bar area with modern, industrial decor, and the Rose Café with plenty of seating. The theatre had a real buzz for opening night, and the staff were excited to welcome us. The place has a friendly, community feel that’s well worth travelling for.
The large, impressive auditorium is cleverly designed with three tiers of seating circling upwards and you’ll never be far from the action onstage.
Director Jeff James turns Austen’s classic into an exhilarating, fresh and hysterical romantic comedy. There are hysterical dance routines, glittery dresses and even an on-stage foam party – definitely something I hadn’t seen before – and a soundtrack including Robyn, Dua Lipa and Cardi B.
It’s a love story to make you swoon. You’ll find yourself completely sucked in to main couple’s journey; Anne Elliot (Sasha Frost) and Wentworth (Fred Fergus). They fell madly in love when Anne was nineteen, but her family persuaded her to reject Wentworth’s proposal due to financial pressures and the prospects of something better, which never came. Now reunited eight years later, the pair face their regret of love lost, and must overcome external pressures and the affections of others if they are to finally come together.
Director Jeff James notes, “Austen uses a love story to examine integrity and selfhood. Anne learns the hard way that our deepest feelings are to be trusted[…] The joy of the novel is that Anne is given a second chance to choose what kind of life she wants.”
I had such a brilliant time with this play, and encourage you not to miss it. The show runs until 19 March before transferring to the Alexandra Palace. Plus – you can grab tickets for as little as £20 in our Show Time sale.
What’s on this season
There’s so much to see at the Rose Theatre this season. The Olivier Award-winning play A Monster Calls runs from 24 March to 9 April. Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved. But now his mum is sick and not getting any better. Then, one night, Conor is woken by something at his window. Patrick Ness’ piercing novel is brought vividly to life by visionary director Sally Cookson.
And don’t miss The Caucasian Chalk Circle; Bertolt Brecht’s epic tale about justice and humanity, propelled into the present day. In a refugee camp, a fight breaks out over lost land. To seek resolution, a singer tells the fable of ‘The Chalk Circle’. This new version is by Steve Waters (The Last King of Scotland) with original songs by Michael Henry (Barber Shop Chronicles). This show runs from 1-22 October.