Austen's Women (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Austen's Women

Rebecca Vaughan brings Jane Austen’s heroines to life

A one-woman show bringing to life Jane Austen’s heroines might sound like heritage theatre of the most staid kind. It should therefore be a truth universally acknowledged that Austen’s Women turns out considerably livelier than anyone might expect, largely due to a stellar turn from Rebecca Vaughan, reprising her own 2009 show under the direction of Guy Masterton.

It’s a measure of the affection that festival audiences have for the author that a packed house could be heard to audibly gasp as Vaughan announced each of the names of the thirteen characters she brought to the stage. Recent films and adaptation of Austen have treated the writer as some kind of Mills and Boon romanticist, but, like Edith Wharton, her intent is frequently a satirical attack on social graces. Vaughan extracts plenty of comedy from the likes of Mansfield Park’s Mrs Norris, or Emma’s Mrs Bates, while also embodying the more conventional virtues of Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. The result is a lively greatest hits package for Austen fans, and a useful introduction for new admirers.

Three- Assembly George Square, 0131 623 3030, Until 25 Aug (not 12, 13, 19), 11.40am, £12 -£13 (£11-£12)

Austen's Women

  • 3 stars
  • Directed by: Guy Masterson
  • Written by: Rebecca Vaughan

Rebecca Vaughan brings Jane Austen's heroines to life in this solo show.