News Story

Zoe Cooper’s bold reimagining of Jane Austen classic comes to the Octagon in March.

We are delighted to reveal the full cast for the brand-new reimagining of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, our co-production with Orange Tree Theatre (OT) Stephen Joseph Theatre. and Theatre by the Lake.

Tessa Walker (Ravenscourt and Big, Big, Sky, Hampstead Theatre, Run, Rebel Pilot Theatre, tour) directs Rebecca Banatvala (Sap, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Soho Theatre, UK Tour, Much Ado About Nothing, RSC) playing Cath; AK Golding (Twelfth Night, Nottingham Playhouse, The Messiah Complex, VAULT Festival) as Iz; and Sam Newton (A Woman Walks into a Bank, Theatre503, Good Day, VAULT Festival) who plays Hen.

ZoeCooper (Jess and JoeForever and Out of Water, Orange Tree Theatre) presents her new play Northanger Abbey, inspired by Jane Austen’s novel. Northanger Abbey opens at the OT on Wednesday 24 January – Saturday 24 February, with previews from Saturday 20 January.

The production will then comes to the Octagon from Friday 1 – Saturday 23 March, before heading to Stephen Joseph Theatre from Wednesday 27 March – Saturday 13 April and Theatre by the Lake from Saturday 27 April – Friday 17 May 2024 and will be available on OT On Screen from Tuesday 21 – Friday 24 May 2024.

Playwright Zoe Cooper said:“Northanger Abbey is a novel about friendship, love, romance and fantasy and how those things collide. What struck me on my first reading as a queer nineteen-year-old, was that the central romantic relationship, one filled with lust, anger and betrayal, is between the romantic heroine and her best friend, Isabella. It is that version of the book I wanted to explore in this reimagining.”

Director Tessa Walker added:“I am delighted to be working on Zoe’s vivid, funny, and inventive re-imagining of Austen’s classic with this fantastic cast. It’s a wonderful, playful tale of romance, gothic adventures, growing up, and the importance of stories and who gets to tell them.”

Catherine Morland knows little of the world, but who needs real-life experience when you have novels to guide you? Catherine seizes her chance to escape her claustrophobic family and join the smart set in Bath. Between balls and parties, she meets worldly, sophisticated Isabella Thorpe – Iz, to her friends – and so Cath’s very own adventure begins.

Northanger Abbey comes to the Octagon from Friday 1 – Saturday 23 March 2024. Tickets start from £15 and are on-sale now.