Based on an unfinished Jane Austen novel, Olivier Award-winning writer Laura Wade’s newest play The Watsons asks what happens when a writer loses the plot and fictional characters take control of their tale.

Laura Wade wrote Posh, the play on which The Riot Club is based and Home I’m Darling, which won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2019.

Directed by Samuel West, The Watsons transfers to the Harold Pinter Theatre. Following sold-out runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Chichester Festival Theatre, The Watsons tickets are going to be in high demand.

Jane Austen began writing The Watsons in 1803, but historians think she abandoned it after her father’s death. In 1871, Jane Austen’s nephew published the manuscript as it was; around 7,500 words long with no title or chapters.

Nineteen and new in town, Emma Watson’s been cut off by her wealthy aunt. She needs to marry, and fast, or be faced with a life of poverty and spinsterhood stuck in her humdrum family home.

Luckily, she has plenty of prospective suitors asking to dance, from dashing socialite Tom Musgrave to the stinking rich, socially awkward Lord Osborne. Which partner to pick?

So far, so familiar, but that’s when Jane Austen stopped writing. Two hundred years on, her forgotten heroine’s happy ending still hangs in the balance.

This clever and brilliant play takes a peek under Jane Austen’s bonnet and looks at what characters do when their author abandons them. Cleverly inserting ‘Laura the playwright’ into the play to attempt to guide the lost characters, Laura Wade’s fourth-wall-breaking new play is delightfully funny and a true tribute to Austen.

Full casting has yet to be announced, but we do know that much of the creative team will continue to work on this production in its move to the Harold Pinter Theatre.

Grab on to your bonnet, ready your fans and get your The Watsons tickets here!


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