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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Persuasion, with soap

As Valentine’s Day dawns, all across the Netflix-speaking Janeite world, we are waiting impatiently for the new film adaptation of Jane Austen’s most romantic novel, Persuasion—possibly coming to our small screens at Easter, according to a 2021 interview unearthed by the indispensable Maggie Sullivan of AustenBlog.

Meanwhile, however, those Janeites in the UK, or those of us prepared to fly there, can get a jump on the you-pierce-my-soul action: A modernized, theatrical version of Austen’s novel opens next week in London.

As blog readers will recall, this production, first staged five years ago in Manchester, England, somehow incorporates soapsuds and a soundtrack featuring Cardi B and Dua Lipa into the timeless story of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. (Check out a trailer here.) The show “retains the quick wit and scandal of Austen’s novel but switches Regency ballrooms for neon lights,” according to the website of the Rose Theatre, a community venue in the London borough of Kingston upon Thames.

Persuasion will run from February 26 through March 19, and tickets are on sale at the startlingly reasonable prices of £15 to £35 ($20 to $47). I am unlikely to make it, but I’m dying to hear what it’s like, so if you go, please report back. Meanwhile, I will try to cultivate patience, along with the rest of the world’s Netflix Janeites.


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