An exciting modern twist on Jane Austen’s letters, theatre company LipService bring the author into the digital world with a touring show coming to a North West library near you!
Professional theatre company and “Britain’s favourite literary lunatics” LipService drag Jane Austen into the twenty-first century to explore how the acclaimed writer might have shared her witty words in a world of Twitter and Snapchat. Taking a comic look at Austen’s letters, and examining the vagaries of the Georgian postal system, Lipservice will put their own humorous spin on the extracts from her novels and letters in Thrills and Quills.
The show will tour 22 North West libraries alongside artist Laura Jamieson’s The Travelling Letter Exchange, an interactive installation that invites you to sit down, write a letter and contribute to an archive of writing on what it is like to live in the North West in 2017.
Celebrating the art of letter writing, everyone who writes a letter will receive one in return from another participant. A selection of the letters will also be published in e-book form in early 2018.
The bureau itself is a contemporary, specially commissioned piece of furniture inspired by what Jane Austen might have used, with artwork inspired by the Jane Austen House Museum in Hampshire.
Laura Jamieson said:
“Jane Austen is obviously famous for her books, but many people don’t now about her prolific letter writing that documented the minutia of her everyday life. These letters now act as documents that give us an insight into the passions and interests of society in the 1800’s. In response to today’s environment of digital communications where we can be in contact with someone on the other side of the world instantly, but also where we don’t keep or cherish our conversation, the letter exchange is an invitation to sit for a while, reflect on your life in 2017 and commit your thoughts to paper.”
The project is jointly funded by Arts Council England’s lottery-funded grants programme Grants for the Arts and Time to Read, a unique partnership of 22 library authorities in the North West working together to promote reading.
The Strategic Lead for Time To Read, Ian Anstice, said:
“This is a great example of what libraries can achieve if they work together. The idea of one library in every authority putting on a top-notch show and having a first-rate interactive display as well, is fantastic and I know that everyone, not just Jane Austen fans, will gain something from it.”