Jane & Sarah (and the Marquis) Study Day

Jane & Sarah (and the Marquis) Study Day

Date(s) - 25/06/2022
10:00 am - 4:15 pm

Pear Tree Church Hall

Behind the Scenes with The Sarah Siddons Theatre Company

Study Days and Performances

The Sarah Siddons Fan Club Theatre always emphasises that all the productions are based on actual historic incidents, performed in site-specific venues – but we are not sure everyone believes us! So we are taking you behind the scenes with two events with our friends at Pear Tree Church. This second study day will see our research historians, who will be presenting lectures linked to our most popular productions about Southampton Spa, coupled with mini performances from the shows.

Jane & Sarah (& The Marquis) Study Day – Pear Tree Church

Pear Tree Avenue, Southampton

A study day looking at Southampton’s time as a successful Watering Place and Spa, when it attracted among its visitors and residents writers such as Jane Austen, actors like Sarah Siddons and aristocrats like the Marquis of Lansdowne. This study day will look at the history and research that inspired plays such as Taking The Flounce, Mr Darcy’s Dinner at the Botley Park, Jane Austen’s Picnic at Netley Abbey, and Scandal Sheets

10.30 registration

Bookstall, literary trail and teas & coffees available

10.45 Miss Jane Austen reflects on her time at Southampton and Peartree, a dramatic interlude

11am Jane Austen & Southampton Spa

Dr Cheryl Butler, is a founder member of the SSFC theatre, who writes and produces many of the Sarah Siddons Theatre shows. She is a Blue Badge tourist guide, has a PhD in history and has written a number of books about aspects of Southampton’s history, including Jane Austen & Southampton Spa and St Mary-over-the-Water: the story of Pear Tree Church and has published articles in the Jane Austen Society Journal, and in Persuasions the journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She has spoken at the national conference of the Jane Austen Society and the international JASNA conference and at study days at Chawton House, and the Jane Austen Museum. Cheryl will explore the history of Southampton’s hundred years as a spa, and links with Jane Austen.

12.00 Southampton’s Marquis

Jean Watts, tourist guide for Southampton has led walks retracing Jane Austen’s outing from her house in Castle Square to Pear Tree, and back, and is also active in the U3A Local History Group. She has a fascination with a former resident of Pear Tree, and Jane Austen’s landlord the notorious Marquis of Lansdowne, thought by some to be an inspiration for the Scarlet Pimpernel, and by others as a scandalous pursuer of other men’s wives

1pm-2pm lunch break, bring a packed lunch

2pm Mr Collins is desperate to attract the greatest actor of the day to perform at his theatre in French Street, and enlists the help of Mrs FitzHugh to persuade Mrs Siddons to perform. However there are other potential celebrities who also want a piece of the limelight – dramatic interlude

2.15 The Story of Sarah Siddons

Geoff Watts, a longstanding member of the SSFC theatre, is also a tourist guide for Southampton and the Hamble Valley as well as being a member of the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery. He will talk about the life of the great tragic actress Sarah Siddons, former resident of Southampton, the favourite of Jane Austen, and the inspiration for The Sarah Siddons Fan Club Theatre. This will include the Southampton connection.

3.15 Behind The Scenes with Sarah Siddons

Michael Farleigh a leading light of the SSFC Theatre, and director of many notorious Ghost Walk productions which look at the dark underbelly of Southampton’s long history, will lift the curtain on the challenges of performing street theatre.

4pm We finish the day, with some traditional audience participation with a presentation of Mr Beveridge’s Maggot.

Tickets for the event are only £20 and available from https://www.wegottickets.com/event/541000

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