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Grace Molony as Emma Watson and Louise Ford as Laura in The Watsons. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Grace Molony as Emma Watson and Louise Ford as Laura in The Watsons. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Full cast announced for play adaptation of unfinished Jane Austen novel

Eleni Cashell

By Eleni Cashell Published 21 August 2019

We love seeing Olivier Award winners bringing new work to London, and Laura Wade is doing just that. Having won Best New Comedy at the Oliviers this year (and receiving four other nominations) for Home I’m Darling, Laura is now bringing a new show for its London premiere at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Best New Comedy winners Tamara Harvey (Director) and Laura Wade (Writer)

Adapted from an unfinished novel by Jane Austen, The Watsons looks under the bonnet of Jane Austen and asks: what can characters do when their author abandons them?

The play focuses on nineteen-year-old Emma Watson, who is cut off by her rich aunt and dumped back in the family home. Emma and her sisters must now find husbands quickly, otherwise they face poverty, spinsterhood, or worse: an eternity with their boorish brother and his awful wife.

Luckily there are plenty of potential suitors to dance with, from flirtatious Tom Musgrave to castle-owning Lord Osborne, who’s as awkward as he is rich. So far so familiar. But there’s a problem: Jane Austen didn’t finish the story. Who will write Emma’s happy ending now?

Grace Molony as Emma Watson and Louise Ford as Laura in The Watsons. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

Already a hit at the Chichester Festival Theatre last year, the show will be directed by Samuel West and will feature several cast members from the original production. These are:

  • Sam Alexander (Robert Watson)
  • Sally Bankes (Nanny)
  • Joe Bannister (Lord Osborne)
  • Jane Booker (Lady Osborne)
  • Elaine Claxton (Mrs Edwards)
  • Tim Delap (Mr Howard)
  • Sophie Duval (Mrs Robert)
  • Louise Ford (Laura)
  • John Wilson Goddard (Mr Watson)
  • Grace Molony (Emma Watson)
  • Elander Moore (Bertie)
  • Paksie Vernon (Elizabeth Watson)
  • Cat White (Miss Osborne)
  • Laurence Ubong Williams (Tom Musgrave)

The returning cast will be joined by Rhianna McGreevy (Margaret Watson), with Isaac Forward, Sonny Fowler and Teddy Probets sharing the role of Charles Howard.

The Watsons will run at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 20 September – 16 November. Tickets are available now.

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