“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort”
After a delightful month in the festive crumpled geography of Edinburgh we are indeed returned home for some (dare we say) well-earned rest.
We performed twenty-five of Jane’s lost works over our time in the Scottish capital, and their titles and subject matter were increasingly unexpected and unique! There was ‘Belfast Pubs I Have Known’ – a lurid tale of drinking and culture clashes in Northern Ireland, with some decidedly regrettable accents. ‘Prude & Incredulous’ subjected that day’s audience to the unforgettable sight of Mr Joseph Morpurgo clad in nothing more than a top hat (artfully positioned), and the run was topped off with ‘Jane Austen’s Love Island’, which saw blushing couples competing round the campfire. Jane was truly a visionary. And if the top hat incident was anything to go by, she will have wished she couldn’t envision quite as much as she did.
And so, wearied and flushed, we stumbled back down south. But our respite shall not last long. For we are soon to embark on a tour to every corner of our pleasant English land. From Leeds to Swindon, from Bath to Buxton – our landau shall bear us from borough to borough, as we bring the forgotten scribings of Jane to the public once again. Every date can be found here.
What’s more, we shall shortly perform in the suitably swanky surroundings of Kensington Palace, no less! Jane would be proud indeed.
So forgive us if we make the most of our brief break, sip tea and read books by the hearth, for soon we will be leaping into literary action once again!
“We were within a few hours of eloping together for Scotland. The treachery, or the folly, of my cousin’s maid betrayed us.”
SENSE & SENSIBILITY
Unlike poor Colonel Brandon, who never made it across the border, we have leapt into our curricles and hotfooted it past Gretna and all the way to Edinburgh. We have the express intention of spending the season amongst the high society here, and what a bustle we find!
For it is the Edinburgh Fringe, no less, and already our adventures in our Udderbelly home have begun. So far we have plucked from our top hats the delightful trio of ‘Sarcasm & Satire’, ‘Boldark’ and ‘The Red Ribbon’, and we wait in frenzied anticipation to see what wonders the remaining three weeks will hold.
Do join us, dear reader, do!
If you are of a saucier disposition, and yet possessed of a warm and charitable heart, you may also spare a thought for our one-off debauched spectacular Crosstentatious – in which (though we blush to utter it) the men dress as ladies, and the ladies as men! For shame! Ribald as these coarse entertainments are, it is all in aid of Waverley Care, and a finer cause one nary encounters.
So if you are possessed of a hardy constitution, and have not your reputation to risk, you may invite yourself to the vulgar and boorish outrage on the 17th August right here.
For now, then, we bid you farewell. Or as the Scots would say (they are so very quaint, dear reader), ’cheerio the nou!’
We are in fits of excitement, for this month we are to record our very own radio show for the delightful Lord BBC! We are recording on the 5th of the month of May. Sadly, tickets are sold out ~ but you will be able to hear the programme itself on the wireless in June. We only hope you have enough smelling salts with you at the time to contain your joy.
Amongst ourselves, plans gather apace for the Edinburgh Festival. Messrs. Dickson, Morpurgo and Roberts and Dames Parris and Gittins will have solo shows, which you may see in ‘preview’ format beforehand if you are in the Capital.
Or, if you have a spare shilling, you may see Captain Hunter Murray’s last Edinburgh show in the heart of Soho’s hunting grounds. Extra dates have been added and you may purchase a billet here.
Miss Amy Cooke-Hodgson was to be found not only in modern dress, but also on the ‘television’ this month, where she appeared in Little Boy Blue on ITV. Although she has survived the scandal of being seen without a bonnet so far.
Ms. Cariad Lloyd has launched the second series of her ‘pod’ cast, the ardent and delightful GriefCast. You may subscribe to it on iTunes or Acast, and it was recently reviewed on Saturday Review for the Radio Four.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall seize this chance to delightedly announce that Austentatious will very soon be coming to a radio near you! If your proximate receiver is switched to BBC Radio 4 at some as yet TBC point in June. Which of course it should be.
Yes, lovely Auntie Beeb has commissioned us to perform Austentatious on the wireless in recognition of the upcoming bicentenary of dear Jane’s death (18th July 1817, fact fans). We are over the moon about it (the commission, not the death), especially since it will be the first long-form improvised format the BBC have ordered since our good friends The Showstoppers had their own radio run in 2011.
The show will be recorded at the Drill Hall on May 5th, in front of a live audience (which as established alas rules out Jane herself), and will then be polished up and ready for transmission in the summer.
Thrilling as that is, it constitutes just part of what is shaping up to be a very, very busy summer for the group.
In August, we return to our spiritual home of Edinburgh for our 6th(!) Fringe in a row, where we will once again be donning our pelerines and pelisses to take to the stage in that divine supine bovine – the Udderbelly!
Before that, we’ve a smattering of performances across the land, including an appearance at the Cornbury Music Festival alongside our musical heroes Right Said Fred (we fully expect a rendition of ‘I’m Too Sexy For My Chemisette’ played on the harpsichord), and at the Wimpole History Festival, alongside our favourite subject at school: History.
What’s more, we’re somehow finding the time for not one, but two European jaunts to France and Germany. Sacre Bleu! Something in German!
And to top it all off there may well be another very special announcement being made very, very soon. Watch this space, dear readers…