We have just had an amazing few days in Hampshire filming, as a Documentary,  the historical background to our Play Sanditon, based on the Sanditon novel fragments of Jane Austen & Anna Lefroy.  (Please see the Pictures section of this website)

We filmed our Sanditon Documentary at Steventon, Ashe, Oakley Hall, Wyards Farm House, Knowle Hill, Bray, Selborne and of course Chawton Cottage. But probably the highlight of the trip was having dinner with Amanda Jacobs at Hawkley Inn in the middle of the inspiring Hangers Countryside.

Amanda is visiting us from the USA as part of the Jane Austen Society of America’s International Visitors Program. I had heard her play a short concert on the 1828 Stodart grand piano at Chawton House Library – the centre for the study of early Women’s writing – and was simply blown away. Even more so when she played Chopin for us on the early 20th century Broadwood Grand piano in her study suite at the Chawton Library delegates building.  When I heard Amanda play her composition ‘At Chawton’ I knew this was the music I wanted to back our Sanditon filming.

In the film we made of the first performance of Sanditon-The-Play actress Amy Burrows plays the part of Charlotte Heywood.

Hugely talented and trained in musical theatre Amy was overwhelmed to be asked by Amanda to sing in her concert. St. Paul’s Covent Garden was the church where Jane worshiped whilst she was in London visiting brother Henry to finalise Emma & Mansfield Park for publication. This was also the time when Henry’s bank was in severe financial difficulties, and would shortly fail. This in my view was one of Jane’s inspirations for the property speculation described in the Sanditon fragments.

The concert should be an amazing experience for Music and Austen lovers alike.

Jane Austen concert

Chris Brindle 23rd July 2014

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