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Sense And Sensibility

    by Jane Austen (adapted by Pamela Whalan)

Please Note : This play is only available from us to customers in UK and Europe.
If you are outside this area, please go to David Spicer Productions


Drama Play Script: 'Sense And Sensibility' by Jane Austen adapted by Pamela WhalenWritten in the closing few years of the 18th Century, ‘Sense And Sensibility’ is Jane Austen’s earliest full-length novel. This stage adaptation (one of a range of Austen adaptations in our catalogue) has, of necessity, had to leave out a number of characters and several parts of the book. The result though is a thoroughly enjoyable stage play that is, as far as possible, faithful to the storyline in the book.

The Dashwood sisters, nineteen year old Elinor (the practical one) and seventeen year old Marianne (the romantic one) together with their mother are, on the death of their father, forced through poverty to move into a small cottage on Sir John Middleton’s Devonshire estate to whom they are distantly related. Marianne soon falls head over heels in love with the enigmatic Mr Willoughby when he rescues her and brings her home with a sprained ankle which she suffers whilst out walking. Elinor on the other hand is beginning to miss the melancholy young Edward Ferrers whom she met and grew to like at their previous house, but is now an infrequent visitor. To complicate Marianne’s love life, she is wooed by Colonel Brandon a local man. At thirty-five and somewhat down-to-earth she sees him as too old for her and anyway her heart is already set on the charming Mr Willoughby.

Things go wrong for the sisters when first, Lucy Steele, a self-obsessed young lady confides in Elinor that she is secretly engaged to Edward, and then Willoughby suddenly leaves for London without any explanation. The sisters deal with their losses in keeping with each of their characters – Elinor quietly bottling up her misery, whilst Marianne is distraught.

Mrs Jennings, Sir John’s ‘rough diamond’ of a mother-in-law, befriends the two sisters and decides to take them under her wing, taking them to her London house as her guests. In the hubbub of London society secrets and gossip abound as people call at each other’s houses as part of the social round. Marianne tries to restart her relationship with Willoughby, but being somewhat mercurial, he has by now switched his affections, and becomes engaged to a well-to-do young lady. Marianne is inconsolable and takes to her bed.

Through an indiscretion Lucy’s secret engagement becomes common knowledge, whereupon Edward Ferrer’s mother cuts off his allowance. Colonel Brandon kindly arranges for Edward to live on his small estate in Dorset, but on hearing this Lucy realises that she will not be rich and decides to set her sights on Edward’s younger brother Robert, with whom she then elopes. Marianne is by now seriously ill through self-neglect, so Colonel Brandon travels quickly to Devon in order to collect Mrs Dashwood. Edward, now free of Lucy’s grip proposes to his true love Elinor, and once Marianne has recovered she agrees to become the wife of the worthy Colonel Brandon.

Author Pamela Whalan says : “Adapting Sense and Sensibility has been a most enjoyable experience. It has allowed me to combine my love of theatre and my love of the works of Austen. I hope that those who see the work in production will enjoy it so much that they will read or reread the novel. There can be no substitute for experiencing the delight of reading Miss Austen’s masterly prose but this adaptation may act as an entry point to the novel for modern readers”.


Principals (2m, 5f)

  Elinor Dashwood
  Mrs Dashwood
  Mrs Jennings
  Marianne Dashwood
  Edward Ferrars
  Fanny Dashwood
  John Dashwood

Support (4m, 1f)
  Sir John Middleton
  Colonel Brandon
  John Willoughby
  Lucy Steele
  Robert Ferrars

Please Note : This play is only available from us to customers in UK and Europe.
If you are outside this area, please go to David Spicer Productions

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