Casting Announced For Laura Wade's THE WATSONS At Chichester Festival Theatre

The full company has been announced for Laura Wade's new play THE WATSONS, adapted from Jane Austen's unfinished novel, which receives its world premiere at the Minerva Theatre from 3 November - 1 December, with a press night on 8 November. Directed by Samuel West, the cast is: Sam Alexander, Sally Bankes, Joe Bannister, Jane Booker, Elaine Claxton, Tim Delap, Leonardo Dickens, Sophie Duval, Archie Elliot, Louise Ford, John Wilson Goddard, Grace Molony, Elander Moore, Katherine Rose Morley, Paksie Vernon, Cat White and Laurence Ubong Williams.

What happens when the writer loses the plot?

Emma Watson is nineteen and new in town. She's been cut off by her rich aunt and dumped back in the family home. Emma and her sisters must marry, fast. If not, they face poverty, spinsterhood, or worse: an eternity with their boorish brother and his awful wife. Luckily there are plenty of potential suitors to dance with, from flirtatious Tom Musgrave to castle-owning Lord Osborne, who's as awkward as he is rich.

So far so familiar. But there's a problem: Jane Austen didn't finish the story. Who will write Emma's happy ending now?

Based on her incomplete novel, this sparklingly witty play looks under the bonnet of Jane Austen and asks: what can characters do when their author abandons them?

Laura Wade's hit play Posh transferred to the West End from the Royal Court, and then onto the big screen as The Riot Club. Her recent work includes the adaptation of Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Hammersmith and Edinburgh), and, earlier this year, Home I'm Darling at Theatr Clwyd and the National Theatre.

Making their Chichester debuts are Joe Bannister, whose recent work includes Howard's End on television and Orlando in As You Like It at the National Theatre; Tim Delap, who recently played Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre at the National Theatre and on tour; and Louise Ford, whose credits include Kate Middleton in Channel 4's The Windsors, Quartermaine's Terms in the West End and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare's Globe. Grace Molony plays Emma Watson, returning to Chichester following The Country Girls (2017) for which she won The Stage Debut Award for Best Actress in a Play; she recently appeared in Lady Windermere's Fan in the West End.

Samuel West also returns to Chichester, where he has appeared in Young Chekhov and ENRON, and directed Three Women and A Piano Tuner (2004). He was Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres 2005-07, where he revived The Romans in Britain.

The Watsons will be designed by Ben Stones, with lighting by Johanna Town, music by Isobel Waller-Bridge, sound by Gregory Clarke and movement by Mike Ashcroft.

The production is sponsored by De'Longhi.

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