Here’s something to tide you over while you wait for the Dakota Johnson-helmed Persuasion Netflix adaptation: this month, a musical adaptation of Persuasion begins its run at Kingston’s Rose Theatre. Adapted by Jeff James and James Yeatman, the adaptation’s soundtrack features Frank Ocean, Dua Lipa and Cardi B.
The piece is marketed as “retain[ing] the quick wit and scandal of Austen’s novel but switch[ing] Regency ballrooms for neon lights.” For the cast and crew, this update feels natural: “Jeff James made a really good point that when he read the book for the first time, a lot of the interpersonal relationships are very much things we see in people today,” Fred Fergus, who plays Wentworth, told WhatsOnStage. “And suddenly a horse and carriage arrives, and you kind of remember that it’s a period drama. So I think the text does feel incredibly current still, and I think the way the play is utilizing music and the minimal set and what we’re wearing just helps it resonate with a kind of modern-day audience more.”
“I think it will make people who love Jane Austen think differently about Austen and people who think they don’t love Jane Austen fall in love with Austen,” said Jeff James to WhatsOnStage. Watch a preview below: