Jane Austen and The Waterman by Cecily O’Neill and Philip Glassborow is a new commission for SO: To Speak, Southampton’s Festival of Words 2017. This is the world premiere of a new entertainment produced by 2TimeTheatre about two near contemporaries, both with strong connections to Southampton.
Jane Austen lived in the city for some years, attending dances at The Dolphin Hotel and plays in French Street. Charles Dibdin was a native of the city, and his rousing and patriotic sea-songs inspired many young men to join the navy.
Austen’s elegant novels may seem a world away from Dibdin’s boisterous shanties and vivid theatrical entertainments, yet several Dibdin compositions are included in the Austen Family Songbooks, which have been digitised by Southampton University. Some songs are written in Austen’s own hand; she was particularly interested in songs of the sea, as two of her brothers were in the Royal Navy, and this interest surfaced regularly in her much-loved novels.
Philip Glassborow, co-writer and director, said: “I’ve always wanted to tell Charles Dibdin’s story from his viewpoint. He was a prolific songwriter and novelist himself, and he wrote several comic operas including The Waterman. I thought it would be fun contrast his ramshackle public and private life with that of Jane Austen, who writes about a world obsessed with propriety and manners.”
Hampshire-based local comedian, musician and performer, Mervyn Stutter appears in the role of Charles Dibdin. Cathy Sara plays Jane Austen and in her extensive TV, film and radio career she has worked with Mike Leigh and Michael Palin, and with Philip Glassborow on his radio productions, Silas Marner and The Secret Garden.
2pm & 4pm Sunday 22 October at the Dolphin Inn, 34-35 High Street, Southampton, Hampshire SO14 2HN.
Tickets are £12 in advance and £15 on the door and are available from the SO: To Speak Festival website: http://www.sotospeakfestival.org.
Sardines Magazine: "Overall this is an thoroughly entertaining production, well directed by Philip Glassborow..."
Curtain Up South: "This is an excellent example of a group of highly-talented creatives working together to create a production that is fast-paced, funny and thoroughly entertaining. Whether you are a lifelong fan or a newcomer to period dramas, you must make sure to see this window into Austen's world."
Hampshire-based publishing and production company 2TimeTheatre is delighted to announce its cast for Meeting Miss Austen, which will be staged in July as part of this year’s Winchester Festival.
Winchester-based director Philip Glassborow said: “We’ve assembled a professional cast who are either all from Hampshire or who have strong ties to the area. Jane Austen’s roots were firmly in Hampshire and we were keen to reflect this in our casting.” He went on: “We’re also delighted that local composer and musician Louise Jordan, based in the New Forest, is joining us as our Musical Director. Jane Austen loved music and we want song and music to be an integral part of the show.”
The cast consists of acclaimed voice-over artist Jilly Bond who has family in Winchester, Portsmouth natives Peter McCrohon and David Parker, Southampton residents Jo Russel and Olivia Sarah Jayne Noyce, and Southampton Solent University Senior Lecturer, Maggie Tarver.
Local playwright Cecily O’Neill said: “I’ve taken Jane Austen’s teenage writings and turned them into three lively, comic plays which form the basis of Meeting Miss Austen. Her talent for creating memorable comic characters is already evident and I’m confident that our cast can more than do it justice.”
For more information, please contact:
Tel: 07821 879094
Notes to editors:
Meeting Miss Austen, published May 2017, is Cecily O’Neill’s second collection of plays inspired by Jane Austen’s teenage depictions of love, money and drink. It will have its world premiere on 8 & 9 July at the Winchester Discovery Centre. Tickets £10 and £5 for 18s and under.
Festival Box Office: 01962 857276.
2TimeTheatre is based in Winchester and exists to take classic or original stories, myths, novels, and poems, and re-imagine them for the stage. Young Jane – three plays based on Jane Austen’s Juvenilia by Cecily O’Neill (published September 2016), was the first publication in a series that includes Drinking with Dorothy – a Comedy in ten Scenes inspired by the work of Dorothy Parker.
2TimeTheatre Ltd. Registered in England Company No:10373604
2TimeTheatre publishes Meeting Miss Austen by Cecily O’Neill.
In these three plays, based on Austen’s teenage writings, we hear the voice of the teenage Jane; exuberant, saucy and often surreal in tales of love, loss, vice and victuals: 'The company partook of an elegant entertainment. After which, the bottle being pretty briskly pushed about, the whole party was carried home dead drunk.' (Jack and Alice)
Cecily O’Neill, Artistic Director of 2TimeTheatre, said: “As we approach the anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, I thought it would be fascinating to dramatise some of her earliest writings, and reveal the development of her genius for dialogue, social satire, and wit.”
2TimeTheatre will be staging two performances of Meeting Miss Austen including songs and music as part of the 2017 Winchester Festival at Winchester Discovery Centre on Saturday 8 July 2017 at 8:00pm and Sunday 9 July 2017 3:00pm. Tickets are £10 and £5 for 18s and under. Box office is on: 01962 857276.
Playwrights know that scripts don’t really come to life until the words are actually spoken aloud. It’s only at that point that it becomes possible to judge the their dramatic effectiveness. When the teenage Jane Austen wrote the novels, plays and other works that make up what is now known as her Juvenilia, she intended them to be passed around and read aloud to amuse her family and friends. She wanted her words to come alive. Everything she wrote between the ages of twelve and seventeen is full of the kind of lively dialogue and vivid characterisation familiar to us from her adult novels, although her plots are farcical and her tone is satirical. It’s not surprising that Pride and Prejudice, Emma and her other great novels have been successfully dramatised many times over.
As far as I could discover, before I adapted three pieces for Young Jane, published in 2016 by 2timetheatre, the Juvenilia had never previously been dramatised for performance. Inspired by the enthusiastic reception of Young Jane, my next project was to adapt several more of the pieces for Meeting Miss Austen. Drunken Alice, lovelorn Tom and the disagreeable and snobbish Lady Greville seemed to demand to come to life on stage.
Two of the pieces I had chosen had been left unfinished. Would it be possible to find a way of completeing them, while remaining true to the anarchic spirit of the teenage Jane? My first task was to find a sympathetic but discriminating audience. I invited a few friends – among them writers, actors and theatre-lovers – to read the pieces for me. Their reactions and comments were extremely helpful and enlightening. They suggested that the character of Lady Greville could be further developed and insisted on the need for a happy ending for Tom and Henrietta in ‘Love Letters’. After making these changes, I enlisted the help of several talented young people from The Discarded Nut Theatre Company. We read the script several times, and I was delighted that the young people seemed very impressed by the teenage Austen’s energy and wit.
The premiere of Meeting Miss Austen will be at the Winchester’s Discovery Centre on July 8th and 9th of July as part of the Winchester Festival.
Hampshire-based publishing and production company 2TimeTheatre is on the look-out for local professional talent to take part in Meeting Miss Austen, which will be presented as part of this year’s Winchester Festival.
Local playwright Cecily O’Neill said: “I’ve taken Jane Austen’s teenage writings and turned them into three lively, comic plays which form the basis of Meeting Miss Austen. Her talent for creating memorable comic characters is already evident and, in this year, the bi-centenary of her death, we are delighted to offer the premiere of Meeting Miss Austen in tribute to her genius.”
Winchester-based director Philip Glassborow said: “Jane Austen’s roots were firmly in Hampshire and we would encourage local professional talent to apply to audition. We are looking for great comic timing, a good singing voice, and an ability to work quickly and effectively as part of an ensemble.”
There are parts for two females aged 20 – 25, two females aged 40 – 60 and two males; one of 50 – 65 and one of 20 – 30. Auditions will take place in May, and the performances will be at Winchester Discovery Centre on 8 & 9 July. If you are interested, live locally, and have relevant and/or recent professional acting experience or training, please apply with CV and recent photo to: email@example.com by 8 May 2017.
23 January 2017
The acclaimed comedy, Drinking with Dorothy – a Comedy in Ten Scenes by Cecily O'Neill is published by independent publishing and production company, 2TimeTheatre. Drinking with Dorothy is inspired by Dorothy Parker’s bitter-sweet reflections on life, love and alcohol in her poems and stories.
This comic play captures Parker’s razor-sharp wit and her disillusion with romance as Dottie introduces the denizens of the bars and speakeasies of Manhattan, bravely keeping her loneliness at bay with a regular supply of Martinis. Songs, waltzes, wisecracks and hangovers create a potent cocktail of entertainment inspired by one of the world’s most quotable writers.
Writer Cecily O’Neill said: “My aim has been to bring Parker’s characters to life in performance so we can encounter them in the flesh. Inevitably, in any adaptation, much has to be omitted, but though narration and hilarious descriptions may be lost, what remains are the people – and the true tones of the native New Yorkers she lived among.’
Drinking with Dorothy premiered off-Broadway in 2015 at New York’s Players Theatre in Greenwich Village, and has also been performed in the U.K.
Dorothy Parker - a sparkling wit, a fearless critic and an award-winning writer of stories, poems and screenplays – who could refuse to go Drinking with Dorothy? I’ve been a fan of hers for many years but I first thought of adapting her work for the stage after attending an enjoyable reading of her stories in New York.
My aim has been to bring Parker’s characters to life in performance so we can encounter them in the flesh. Inevitably, in any adaptation, much has to be omitted, but though narration and hilarious descriptions may be lost, what remains are the people – and the true tones of the native New Yorkers she lived among.
Parker’s ear is sharply attuned to the voices around her – and what voices they are – Lily Wynton the great lady of the theatre, Madam Marah the medium, the ladies who lunch on Martinis, and, of course, Dottie herself, hungover and struggling to meet her deadlines.
Parker may mock her characters’ absurdity and affectations, but there is always a sense of compassion for their vulnerability as they try to keep fear and loneliness at bay with wisecracks and alcohol.
It’s been a delight to go 'Drinking with Dorothy'!
13 December 2016
Premiere of Meeting Miss Austen – a performance based on Jane Austen’s teenage writings
Hampshire-based theatre company, 2TimeTheatre, presents the world premiere of Meeting Miss Austen by local author Cecily O'Neill at the Winchester Discovery Centre as part of the 2017 Winchester Festival, and supported by a Cultural Grant from Winchester City Council.
In these plays, based on Austen’s Juvenilia, we hear the voice of the teenage Jane; exuberant, saucy and often surreal in tales of love, loss, vice and victuals: 'The company partook of an elegant entertainment. After which, the bottle being pretty briskly pushed about, the whole party was carried home dead drunk.' (Jack and Alice). Meeting Miss Austen is published by 2TimeTheatre February 2017.
Cecily O’Neill, Artistic Director of 2TimeTheatre, said: “As we approach the anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, I thought it would be fascinating to dramatise some of her earliest writings, and reveal the development of her genius for dialogue, social satire, and wit.
2TimeTheatre will stage two performances of Meeting Miss Austen including songs and music as part of the 2017 Winchester Festival at Winchester Discovery Centre and promoted by Jane Asuten 200 on Saturday 8 July 2017 at 8:00pm and Sunday 9 July 2017 3:00pm. Tickets are £10 and £5 for 18s and under. Box office is on: 01962 857276.
For more information, please contact:
We filmed our first video promo for Young Jane earlier this week. The weather was relatively kind and our talented actor Emily Pacey made a great job of the proposal speech from the play The Three Sisters.
We sneaked into the Bishop's Garden to film as our preferred location just opposite the Jane Austen House in College Street was just too noisy; no, not with vocal JA fans, but from the building site noise coming from the end of the street!
Hoping to be able to share the video with you very soon.