News & Events

View the world premier performance and launch of our new Maria Edgeworth edition of The Double Disguise.


Premier Performances

Maria Edgeworth’s The Double Disguise (1786)
–from the Juvenilia Press edition Maria Edgeworth, The Double Disguise edited by Christine Alexander and Ryan Twomey (2014)

The Gypsy Dancer

Scenes from the world premiere of Maria Edgeworth’s eighteenth-century dramatic comedy, The Double Disguise on 20 March 2015 at the Io Myers Studios, UNSW Australia. Directed by Shannan Ely and Anna Grieg, produced by the Creative Research and Practice Unit, and performed by UNSW students.

Written at the age of eighteen, The Double Disguise is the earliest work in which Edgeworth explores what Sir Walter Scott called “those very striking pictures of manners”. Jane Austen, too, admired Edgeworth’s gift for conveying social conventions through brilliant dialogue. In the play, Charles Westbrooke, a soldier returning from war, assumes two successive disguises to test the values and fidelity of his betrothed, Dolly. Dolly’s father, the pig-headed Justice Cocoa, is a well-to-do Tipperary grocer who has risen in the world: he is the first of Maria Edgeworth’s famous Irish characters. Building on the Restoration comedy of Congreve and contemporary plays by Sheridan and Goldsmith, this original young writer demonstrates in The Double Disguise her new interest in realism and her use of her Anglo-Irish heritage. – Christine Alexander, Juvenilia Press

“It’s been a fantastic process and a privilege to create this world and develop these characters with only the script as our guide. ….We invite you, our audience, to explore with the actors, these larger than life characters that bring such vibrancy and playfulness to the story. We aimed to create the same sense of personal, family fun we imagined Maria Edgeworth would have experienced performing this play for, and with, her family.” – Shannan Ely, Director

The Gypsy Dancer The Gypsy Dancer

The Gypsy Dancer

Backstage with Directors and Cast (Front Row, L-R): Anna Grieg (Co-Director), Christine Alexander (Director and General Editor, Juvenilia Press), Shannan Ely (Director), and Amylea Griffin (Fanny). (Back Row, L-R): Stuart Maclaine (Boots/Oberon), Elizabeth Stern (Landlady), Emma Gillespie (Dolly), Caspar Hardaker (Charles Westbrooke/Fortune Teller/Captain Campbell), Alexandra Rigby (Betty Broom), Ciaran O’Riordan (Blue Coat Boy), and Alex Williams (Justice Cocoa).


Dorothy Hewett’s The Gipsy Dancer
– from the Juvenilia Press edition Dorothy Hewett: The Gipsy Dancer & Early Poems

The Gypsy Dancer The Gypsy Dancer

Scenes from the premier of Dorothy Hewett’s first play, The Gipsy Dancer, on 14 May 2009 at the Io Myers Studio, University of New South Wales. Directed by Lara Karestes and produced by the Creative Research and Practice Unit, with original compositions by Holly Champion, and performed by students from English, Media and Performing Arts, UNSW.

"The performance of The Gipsy Dancer was lively and energetic, bringing to life a clever, imaginative and witty play. The audience was lit-up with pleasure (so many giggles and smiles) at the cute rhyming couplets and the performers' energetic portrayal of some very fickle characters! The Director, Lara Karestes, dealt sympathetically with this child-creation, combining a playful energy (lots of light-hearted song and dance) with a warm set and lighting design. What a treat! There was a tenderness in the production which reminded me that not only is there great fun and mischievous adventure to be had as a child, but what a great shame it is that we have to leave childhood behind."— Jemma Donaldson

The Gypsy Dancer on stage The Gypsy Dancer on stage


Jane Austen's 'The Visit'
      — from the Juvenilia Press edition Jane Austen’s Men

Group of performers at The Visit Two performers at The Visit

Austen's The Visit, directed by Lesley Peterson, was performed at the Canadian Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in October 2012.

Directing Jane Austen's 'The Visit' by Lesley Peterson, University of North Alabama

Juliet & Christine selling Juvenilia books

Solving the Chair Problem

This is a moment from act 2, scene 1, of Jane Austen’s The Visit, during its very first recorded performance at Branksome Hall (an independent girls’ school), Toronto, Canada, in November, 2005. When the guests of Lord Fitzgerald and his sister Miss Fitzgerald arrive, Miss Fitzgerald discovers that “there ought to be 8 Chairs & there are but 6”. She solves the difficulty by suggesting that Lady Hampton take her husband Sir Arthur in her lap, “& Sophy my Brother in hers”. The latter act of pairing anticipates the engagement between Sophy and Lord Fitzgerald at the play’s conclusion. The cast, all students at Branksome Hall, are from left to right: Katie Dorian (Mr. Willoughby), Katie O'Connor (servant), Sadia Ahmed (Sophy); Ella Rowan (Lord Fitzgerald), Emily Herczeg (Chloe Willoughby); Chloe Sullivan (Stanly), Rachel Penny (Miss Fitzgerald). (The knees only of the actor who played Lady Hampton are also visible in the left corner. Her name is Emma Alter.)


[top]

Back to top