Where: The Jack Studio Theatre, 410 Brockley Road, Brockley, London SE4 2DH
£: 12, 10 concessions
What is it?
Eighteen year old Charity Royall lives in the remote village of North Dormer with her guardian and father-figure Lawyer Royall. Their mundane lives are interrupted by the arrival of Lucius Harney, a young architect from New York. Small-town prejudice, repressed passion and the hope for escape all feature in Edith Wharton’s groundbreaking study of a young woman’s awakening. Julia Stubbs Hughes’ new play focuses on the three main characters of the novel and explores the discovery of love and attraction in a society that restricts both.
Julia trained as an actor and began directing after reading the accomplished first play by Laura Stevens, Thin Toes. Since then her subsequent productions have included the World Premiere of Remembering You like something I’d Forgotten by Louise Buchler for the National Arts Festival, South Africa and the West End transfer of In My Name by Steven Hevey.
Julia read Summer and was immediately struck by the tragic story of a love triangle, set in rural Massachusetts. Julia felt that to create a play that centred wholly on the novel’s three characters and their intertwined relationships would be an intriguing idea and so encouraged by the award-winning writer Helen Edmundson, she began work on the project. The result is her first play.
Acclaimed author Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born Edith Newbold Jones, into a society known as “Old New York” at a time when women were discouraged from achieving anything beyond a proper marriage. Wharton broke through these constraints to become one of America’s greatest writers. She wrote Summer in six weeks in 1916, whilst working for the war effort in France and her next novel The Age of Innocence, earned her the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1921, making Wharton the first woman to win the award.