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The Watsons transfers to the West End

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING successful runs at Chichester Festival Theatre and the Menier Chocolate Factory (where it continues until November 16, 2019), The Watsons is transferring to the West End.

A new play by Laura Wade, adapted from the unfinished novel by Jane Austen, it will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre from Friday, May 8 to Saturday, September 26, 2020.

What happens when the writer loses the plot?

Emma Watson is nineteen and new in town. She’s been cut off by her rich aunt and dumped back in the family home. Emma and her sisters must marry, fast. If not, 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?

Based on her incomplete novel, this sparklingly witty play asks: what can characters do when their author abandons them?

The Watsons is directed by Samuel West and designed by Ben Stones, with movement by Mike Ashcroft, music by Isobel Waller-Bridge, sound design by Gregory Clarke and casting by Charlotte Sutton.

Casting for the West End transfer has not yet been announced.

Also at the Harold Pinter Theatre: Ian McKellen On Stage (until January 5) and Conor McPherson’s new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece Uncle Vanya (January 14 to May 2, 2020).