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Adapting Victorian novels for the stage

Updated: Jun 26



The picture is of Marianne Oldham as Anne in Kate Saxon's production of my stage version of Persuasion, Salisbury Playhouse, 2012.


My latest adaptation from novel to stage play was Turn of the Screw. It was my version of Henry James’s gruesome, enthralling novella, and it toured the UK in 2018 and 2019. Before that, I adapted four Jane Austen novels (Emma, Persuasion, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey), which all had various successful productions and/or tours round the UK and have been produced all over the world. I also had a go at a George Eliot novel (Silas Marner) and a Noël Coward short story (A Richer Dust), both of which are waiting for productions.


I often think that my original plays are also to some extent adaptations, especially the historical and political ones. They always begin with an idea, involve tons of research, and end up with me collaging what I know into a story for the stage. That’s adaptation too, isn't it?


On the Prose page of this website you can follow links that will lead you to essays that go into detail about my adaptation process. There's one about adapting Jane Austen and one about adapting Henry James.