“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!
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…
Thanks to the redoubtable efforts of those pioneers in the Royal Society, Austentatious have found a means of broadcasting themselves into the nation’s homes.
In the last week of April, Austentatious were interviewed on Radio 4 Extra by the learned, gallant Mr. Arthur Smith. Austentatious performed a short improvised piece, followed by some pleasant confabulation about their respective lives and times. Recordings of both are available to enjoy below at your leisure, and are best enjoyed after some vigorous embroidery or a gambling session at the gentleman’s club.
Head to our Soundcloud page to listen.