The Watsons, Menier Chocolate Factory - ★★★★★ - Until November 16, 2019


Fascination with Jane Austen has spawned an industry. Some writers complete her unfinished works and others write more books about characters in the completed novels. Laura Wade's contribution to this genre is a play about Austen's unfinished work, The Watsons, but this fascinating riff on that work becomes 'Jane Austen meets Luigi Pirandello'  and perhaps, Jorge Luis Borges. The play becomes a humorous and beguiling look at the art of writing and the relation of an author to their characters. The insecurity and self-awareness of contemporary authors stands in stark contrast to the authority that Austen had even as she described situations that, particularly for women, were restrictive and precarious. Her voice rang with a certainty and control born of an ironic yet humane perspective and it may be this that attracts present writers to her as they face existential nightmares and questions about their own craft and creative process. Ultimately this is a play about writing a play, and it has a wonderful humour and humanity although coming from a very different place than Austen's. The cast do a lovely job. Grace Molony as the lady-like, and later rebellious, Emma Watson and Louise Ford as frazzled and beleaguered playwright, Laura are simply outstanding. Don't miss this latest and quite brilliant tribute to Jane Austen's legacy.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until November 16, 2019
Tue - Sat: 8 pm, Sat & Sun: 3 pm
The Menier Chocolate Factory
Nearest station: London Bridge
https://www.menierchocolatefactory.com/Online

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