Chichester Festival Theatre and Menier Chocolate Factory present the London première of Laura Wade’s critically acclaimed The Watsons

The Watsons

The Watsons

Chichester Festival Theatre and Menier Chocolate Factory today announced the London première of Olivier Award-winner Laura Wade’s The Watsons at the Menier – Wade received the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy for Home I’m Darling earlier this year. Directed by Samuel WestThe Watsons played to critical acclaim at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2018. The production opens at the Menier on 30 September, with previews from 20 September, and runs until 16 November. Public booking opens on Wednesday 3 July at 9am, priority booking is open now.

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 looks under the bonnet of Jane Austen and asks: what can characters do when their author abandons them?

Laura Wade is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her credits include Home I’m Darling (Theatr Clwyd, National Theatre, Duke of York’s Theatre and UK tour – Olivier Award for Best New Comedy), Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, adapted from the novel by Sarah Waters), Posh (Royal Court Theatre and West End), Alice (Sheffield Theatres), Kreutzer vs. Kreutzer (Sydney Opera House and Australian Tour, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Royal Festival Hall and UK tour), Other Hands (Soho Theatre), Colder Than Here (Soho Theatre and MCC Theatre New York), Breathing Corpses (Royal Court Theatre), Young Emma (Finborough Theatre), and 16 Winters (Bristol Old Vic Basement).  Film credits include The Riot Club and Britain Isn’t Eating.  

Samuel West directs. His directorial work includes After Electra (Tricycle Theatre), Close The Coalhouse Door (Northern Stage), Waste (Almeida Theatre) and Dealer’s Choice (Menier Chocolate Factory/Trafalgar Studios). As Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres he directed the first revival ofThe Romans in Britain by Howard Brenton, and As You Like It for the RSC’s Complete Works Festival. He also directed Money by Edward Bulwer-Lytton for BBC Radio. As an actor, work includes the title roles in Hamlet and Richard II for the RSC, Jeffrey Skilling in Lucy Prebble’s Enron(Chichester/Royal Court/Noel Coward theatres), three series of Mr Selfridge, the film Howards End, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Suffragette and On Chesil Beach.

This production is based on the Chichester Festival Theatre production which had its world première at the Minerva Theatre on 3 November 2018.

Listings Information                                                                                                            The Watsons

Venue:                                Menier Chocolate Factory

Address:                             53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU

Press performance:         30 September at 8pm

Dates:                                 20 September – 16 November

Times:                                 For the performance schedule, please see the website

Box Office:                         020 7378 1713 (£2.50 transaction fee per booking)

Website:             www.menierchocolatefactory.com (£1.50 transaction fee per booking)