What would my life have been like without Jane Austen?
Ever since I was very young, one of my favourite things has been to curl up on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon with my Mum to watch a Jane Austen adaptation on the television. As soon as she thought I was old enough, my Mum bought me a beautiful collection of hand-bound novels and these still remain some of the most loved books sitting on our shelf - they were of course the complete works of Jane Austen.
It seemed only fitting, therefore, when my husband Noel and I decided to adapt a novel for the stage, that this should be an Austen. As this was to be our very first production for our brand new theatre company, we needed an author whose stories we could trust, not just for their dramatic content, but also for their brilliantly drawn characters. The wonderful Jane provided us with both of these and adapting Northanger Abbey was a complete joy.
So what would my life have been like without Jane Austen? Well, we certainly wouldn't have such a successful first production, it is an adaptation we will always be immensely proud of, mostly because we hardly had to change a word. The incomparable Jane had done it all for us!
Our award winning version of Northanger Abbey will be continuing to tour the UK from January next year – visit www.boxtalesoup.co.uk/Calendar for more details and tickets!
Box Tale Soup is the brainchild of professional actors Noel Byrne and Antonia Christophers. It was formed from a desire to create genuinely fresh interpretations of classic works and financially viable theatre. Drawing on their diverse backgrounds and skills, Box Tale Soup is seeking to create theatre that is affordable, without being compromised in quality or originality.
By restricting ourselves to the use of a vintage trunk, the contents of our desk drawer and an assortment of recycled materials, we believe our first production, Northanger Abbey, has achieved exactly that: theatre on a proverbial shoe-string that maintains the highest quality and is totally unique.
Noel Byrne and Antonia Christophers' previous acting credits include the BBC's Dr Who and The Hour, HBO's award winning Game of Thrones, CBBC's Mission 2110 and original work for the Royal Court Theatre, London and Contact Theatre, Manchester. They formed Box Tale Soup together in 2012.