Camden Fringe: Making A Song And Dance Out Of Jane Austen’s Bicentenary

Jane Austen’s final novel Persuasion has been made into a musical to mark the 200th anniversary of her death and will be staged at the 12th Camden Fringe Festival, 31 July – 27 August 2017.

While Austen has been chosen to appear on the new £10 note, Chamber Opera Tours will be celebrating with Persuasion: a musical drama, on Monday 31 July at the Shaw Theatre, featuring an incredible 40 artists – singers, dancers, and orchestra members.

Adapted by Barbara Landis, this production includes a chamber orchestra with Celtic and period instruments, authentic costuming and sets, projected scenery, and world-champion Irish dancers.

This year’s Camden Fringe features 270 different shows at 22 venues, with more than 900 performances.

Persuasion is not the only big production, a cast of 22 actors from around Camden appear in two short plays, Under the Mental Health Act & Black Love Matters, 4-5 August at The Cockpit.

Irish dancing is also popular this year with The Bad Arm – Confessions of A Dodgy Irish Dancer, 1-5 August at the Tristan Bates Theatre, was chosen as Best of Hollywood Fringe, the Critic’ Choice and praised by LA Theatre Review, as well as author Val McDermid. Some of it is set in 1970s London.

Austen would also have probably approved of The Second Sex, 31 July – 2 August at the Etcetera Theatre where lost feminists recover in a rehabilitation centre in a dark comedy about their daily struggles.

Treating Odette, 1-6 August Upstairs at the Gatehouse, is also set in London, following the true story of film star Anna Neagle and wartime heroine Odette, who met in a Mayfair salon in 1949.

Brexit looms large in the first week with Leave. To Remain (An Aristophanic Brexit Tale) 31 July – 2 August at the Water Rats; Bankstabbers, 2-4 August at The Cockpit (a series of dark comic plays written by financial journalist Matthew Partridge) and Sex Spies and Streaming, 3-5 August at Hen and Chickens.

The Crossing River, 2-5 August at The Monkey House, follows a 19-year-old Syrian on her journey of hope. Evros envelopes you in the current refugee crisis, echoing stories throughout history. Seemia have been trained by Polish Theatre Company Song of the Goat and fuse music, poetry and physical theatre.

The highly-acclaimed Mr Grebe Is Taking Your Class Today, featuring Donal Coonan as a supply teacher who has to teach every subject, is at the Camden Comedy Club 31 July – 2 August.

Famous adventurer and posh idiot Jasper Cromwell Jones (played by award winning comedian Joe Bor) presents an Alternative Book Festival with other weird and wonderful authors, 31 July – 3 August at The Bill Murray.

Joe Bor, as seen on Mock The Week, has also added a new show since the programme was printed, A Room With A Jew, 16-17 August at Camden Comedy Club.

Norwegian comedian Daniel Simonsen, Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Comedy Awards, returns with two shows No Net (unscripted), 1-13 August and Net (scripted) 4-27 August, both at The Bill Murray, and there is a special offer with a ticket for both shows costing just £10.

Award-winning comedian Chris Stokes (BBC Three, Dave, BBC Radio 4, Radio X), as featured on the 2017 BBC New Talent Hotlist, comes to the Camden Fringe for the very first time with his brand new solo stand-up show ‘Eternalist’, 31 July, 14 and 21 August.

Malcolm Hardee First Minute Award Nominees 2016 and Max Turner Finalists 2017 Loose Brie will be using their bodies in ways you would not think possible in their low-brow chaotic comedy show, 31 July – 6 August at Aces and Eights.

Irish comedian Kevin O’Connell, the People’s Choice winner at the Chortle Student Comedy Awards, will be at Camden Comedy Club 31 July – 2 August.

To see the full programme and to buy tickets for Camden Fringe visit the website

About Author /

Matthew has been writing for the past 5 years about music, sports and movies and has now finally got his chance to write about theatre. Having previously worked for the likes of Kerrang and Uncut, as well as previously having a radio show for 6 Towns, he has interviewed hundreds of bands throughout his career.

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