My Life in Boston

mostly about food, but also about sneakers, make-up…and now, my kid

Tag: Jane Austen

Pride & Prejudice at The Footlight Club

This community production of Jane Austen‘s Pride & Prejudice by The Footlight Club was chock full of laughter and surprise. I didn’t think there could be anything further to explore with the story considering the 1995 BBC version and 2005 film. But, I was wrong – so absolutely wrong.

As a Jane Austen fan who visited her home in Chawton and visited the British Library just to see her writing desk, I loved the play from beginning to end.

The cast all brought something new to these well-loved, iconic characters. I daresay that I preferred this production’s take on Mary, Mrs. Bennet, and…Mr. Darcy. Because of the focus on comedy, the actors and actresses were able to bring out the more endearing qualities of the characters. This was especially true of Mary, the middle Bennet sister who is often depicted as the third wheel and very one-dimensional – aka, annoying AF. But, in this play, Mary is…pretty cool. She’s definitely in her own world, but isn’t a complete asshole about it.

Along with the wonderful cast, the set was beautiful. That moment when the curtains parted to reveal the sitting room, amazed me. They were able to do so much with that one set. That is skill. Also, I couldn’t stop staring at the flickering lights of the chandelier. I wanted that chandelier and that lighting for my own home

The theater itself is a historic space. It’s America’s oldest community theater and was built not long after the novel was published – kinda makes the experience all the more memorable.

A well-deserved bravo bravo to the cast, crew and all the people who made this possible! Thanks to the husband for finding out about this play just in the nick of time because we caught the very last show on Saturday at 8PM.

Check out The Footlight Club Facebook page for more about the cast & crew – absolutely loved the Q&As and behind-the-scene photos.

The theatre transported me back in time. I loved the high ceilings, the creakiness of the wooden floor, and the old seats (which I found charming, but will be replaced with brand new ones very soon…apparently with arms this time).

PS. I’d like to give a shout-out to Jane Ko the stage manager because she wrote the most epic of profiles. Her Emma Stone burn was brilliant 🔥

7 Eliot St
Boston, Massachusetts
(Jamaica Plain neighborhood)

Adapted from the Novel by Jane Austen / Pride and Prejudice By Jane Kendall
Directed by Kristin Hughes
Produced by David J. Rodrigues

Anna Chensny as Elizabeth Bennett
Corey Exline as Jane Bennett
Katie Suchyta as Mary Bennett
Aiden O’Neal as Kitty Bennett
Shannon DeBari as Lydia Bennett
Andrea Giangreco as Mrs. Bennett
Jack Sinnot as Mr. Bennett
David S. Wright Mr. Darcy
Jimi McEvoy as Mr. Bingley
John Knight as Mr. Collins
Lauren Murphy as Ms. Bingley
Allie Meek as Charlotte Lucas
Mary O’Donnell as Lady Catherine
Catherine Verow Quintana as Lady Lucas
Matthew Harker as Mr. Wickham
Paul Campbell as Hill

A Day at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

I have read Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Sense & Sensibility, and Mansfield Park over and over again. I have watched all the adaptations — film and tv — and have even read the fan fiction. I am a Jane Austen fan.

So, when the opportunity to visit London for a couple weeks came up, I went for it. And, tops on my list of things I had to do was visit Jane Austen’s house in the village of Chawton in Hampshire County.

I’d researched and Googlemap’d directions beforehand. I knew that I’d have to take the rail from Waterloo station to Alton station and then from there catch the no. 64 bus. I would be on my own. It was both scary and exciting.

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

It was pretty easy — the train part that is. It was about an hour journey to Alton. Luckily, when I arrived the no. 64 bus was already there. I hopped on and asked the driver for the Alton Butts stop to which he gave me the most confused expression.

“Jane Austen’s house?” I asked. Silence.

A lady behind me then asked for the Chawton roundabout stop. Bingo! That was the one. Thanks for nothing Visit Winchester information!

When I got off the bus, the lady who had the correct stop directions also got off. At that point, we decided to go to the museum together, which was a bit of a scary trek as we had to cross a super busy rotary. But, once that part was over with, it was a nice walk along a small, grassy path.

And then…and then…

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

We had made it!

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

I took my time with everything. I didn’t want to miss any detail — not even this kitchen.

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

I absolutely loved exploring the little, two-floor house. Just standing in the dining area, I tried to imagine what it must have been like for the whole family to sit, eat and talk.

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

The creakiness of the floorboards was music to my ears. There were quite a few rooms to explore as well as personal items that belonged to Jane, a recipe book written by the family cook, and a heart breaking letter written by Cassandra, Jane’s sister, letting their niece know of Jane’s passing.

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

Also, all around the house, some of the costumes from tv and film were on display.

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

Featured behind glass was the embroidery work that Jane completed.

London 2016 | by Lillian Lee

But what I looked forward to seeing the most was her writing desk.

This tiny desk was where some of her greatest masterpieces were composed. An interesting thing to note is that this isn’t her complete desk. There’s another piece of it that is housed in the Treasures of the British Library, which I’m glad to have gotten a look at on day one of my London trip.

To end my visit, I browsed the gift shop which was chock full of Mr. Dary/Colin Firth merch as well as anything and everything Jane. I met back up with my Jane Austen friend there and we decided to have lunch together at Cassandra’s Cup which was right across the street.

It was nice. I think it was the first time I ever had a meal with a complete stranger. I learned that we were both exploring London on our own. As it was getting dark, we didn’t dawdle for too much longer and decided to head back on our treacherous journey back to the bus stop where we waited…for 30 minutes.

Back at the Alton train station, we got onto the train back to Waterloo. Once in London, we had to say our goodbyes since we were traveling in different directions.

This day which I had looked forward to for quite some time met and far exceeded my expectations. The Jane Austen House is a definite must for fans.

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