top of page
  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Replenishing the larder

At this point, roughly three weeks into All-American Shelter at Home, you -- the average Janeite -- have probably watched, or re-watched, your entire collection of filmed Jane Austen adaptations. The first week, you gorged on the really good stuff – the cinematic comfort food: the Colin Firth-Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice, the Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility, Clueless. The second week, you turned to the mediocre, unnourishing, but acceptable choices -- the filmic equivalents of Cheetos: the Mormon Pride and Prejudice, the 1983 British mini-series of Mansfield Park, the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma. By last week, down to nothing but stale crumbs, you were scraping the bottom of a very deep barrel: Billie Piper as Fanny Price, Sally Hawkins chasing Captain Wentworth through the streets of Bath, even – God forbid – Scents and Sensibility. And now it’s Week Four, and the cupboard is bare. Soon, you’ll be gnawing on your own leg. Luckily, however, some intrepid artists have stepped forward to keep self-cannibalism at bay just a little while longer: * Tomorrow night, a new musical adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Tony-nominated composer Paul Gordon will stream for free at 6:30 and 10 pm (Eastern). P&P is the latest offering of Streaming Musicals, a hybrid of live and recorded theater that launched eighteen months ago with a production of Gordon’s Emma. To watch the free premiere of P&P, you’ll need to register ahead of time; if you can’t make it tomorrow night, the show will be available to buy (for $19.99) or rent ($4.99) later on. * Through next Wednesday, the small Washington D.C. theater company We Happy Few is streaming a video recording of its fall 2019 production of Lovers’ Vows, by Elizabeth Inchbald. As Janeites will recall, it’s this hit play of 1798 that the wayward Bertram and Crawford siblings choose for their ill-fated home theatricals in Mansfield Park. You can watch any time you like, in return for a donation of whatever you can afford. The company recommends at least $5, which seems a small price to pay to understand why Sir Thomas was scandalized. And also to save your leg.


Apr 13 2020 06:45PM by Barb Millett

Thanks very much for the link to the production of Lovers Vows! I had heard about its existence but needed a link. Just watched the video and enjoyed it very much. Now I want to read Mansfield Park again to see how JA uses the plot of the play. p.s. Enjoyed meeting you at the Minneapolis AGM when we were seated at the same table at the banquet.

Apr 13 2020 06:57PM by Deborah Yaffe

Hi, Barb! Thanks for commenting, and I'm glad you were able to see Lovers' Vows. Come back and tell us how your reading of MP is influenced by seeing the play!

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page