Sam Newton on Northanger Abbey
Zoe Cooper has written a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, a co-production with Theatre by the Lake, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Orange Tree Theatre and Stephen Joseph Theatre, directed by Tessa Walker, it’s coming to Theatre by the Lake 27 Apr – 17 May.
The production follows Catherine Morland (Rebecca Banatvala) who knows little of the world but finds her experience in novels. She seizes her chance to escape her claustrophobic family and join the smart set in Bath where, between balls and parties, she meets the worldly, sophisticated Isabella Thorpe, Iz (AK Golding), to her friends – and so Cath’s very own adventure begins.
Sam Newton plays Hen in Cooper’s reimagining.
Q&A with Sam Newton
What can you tell us about Northanger Abbey?
It is a joy filled anarchic revisionist take on one of Jane Austen’s early works.
How have you approached playing Hen in the context of the re-imagining of the story?
Without giving too much away, I’ve been able to be led by Cath’s vision and demands of Hen and be a facilitator for her idealised tale. The fun parts are when that vision clanks together with reality.
What has the rehearsal process been like so far?
Wonderful. The creative team and cast have genuinely been such supportive and hilarious collaborators. I feel very lucky to be working again with Tessa Walker (director) & Jonnie Riordan (Movement Director) who I’ve created shows in the past with separately and together they are a force to be reckoned with!
What’s it like to be performing the play?
It’s been a hoot so far! Tom Littler gave us an incredibly warm welcome on day one, and hopefully, we’ll get the new season off to a rip-roaring start.
How do you think audiences will react to the change of focus within the story?
Boy am I excited to find out! There’s a little something in there for everyone so I think they’ll love it. The genius of Jane Austen + Zoe Cooper = Theatrical magic.