More dates for "A Celebration of Jane Austen" with Elizabeth Garvie

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For the Cult of Lizzie G (and you know who you are, gentlemen), we have received some upcoming dates for the program “A Celebration of Jane Austen,” starring Elizabeth Garvie and her husband (sorry, guys), Anton Rodgers. The shows will be held on 14 May 2006 at the Daphne Du Maurier Festival (!); 21 May at Oakengates Theatre in Telford; and 16 July at Chewton Glen Hotel, New Milton, Hampshire.

From the publicity materials for the show:

‘For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn.’ (Pride and Prejudice)

No writer, with the exception of Shakespeare, stands higher in public esteem and affection than Jane Austen. This celebration is for those who have always loved her, and for those who would like to know more about the enigmatic and shadowy figure behind the popular image of crinolines and bonnets, tea and gentility.

Jane Austen continues to fascinate us because she reveals human nature with all its delicious quirks and foibles. From the rumbustious delights of her juvenile works to the extraordinary explosion of vitality in her last and uncompleted novel, Sanditon, we take you on a colourful and revealing journey through the life and work of this most paradoxical and bewitching author.

Starting with a light-hearted look at the enduring reputation and growing industry which surrounds the name and works of Jane Austen, the programme goes on to map out the significant events of her life, illuminated by letters, eye-witness accounts, and relevant passages from the novels.

From her birth in 1775, we examine her early life in Stevenson in the midst of a large happy family, her early influences, and her juvenile literary endeavours. Schooldays and her emerging interest in the Gothic revival are touched upon, which brings us to an excerpt from ‘The Three Sisters’.

The subject of marriage is dealt with at some length, as one would expect, and the romance with Tom Lefroy is chronicled which leads us naturally into two excerpts from ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Mr Collins and his proposal bring the first half to an end.

Part two starts with the story of Jane’s engagement to Harris Bigg-Wither and a discussion about her ‘ideal man’. The move to Bath follows, and shortly thereafter, the death of her father, which leads to a period of straightened circumstances and the cessation of her writing.

In 1811, Jane moves to the security of Chawton, and the novels begin to be published.

‘Emma’ is dealt with at length, with excerpts featuring Mr Woodhouse, Miss Bates, and a reading of the picnic on Box Hill scene.

The difficulties with ‘Persuasion’ are covered next, followed by Jane’s failing health and her efforts to complete ‘Sanditon’, of which a short extract is given. Finally, her last days are chronicled.

Throughout the programme, short pieces of music of the era written for flute and piano by composers such as Mozart, Donizetti, Beethoven, Czerny, Schubert, Hummel, and Gossek, are played to signal changes of mood.