“We Fainted Alternately On The Sofa” (Jane Austen in the Making)

featuring  Sukey Simpson, Mrs Humbug,  Sir Edward Spangle

and others  from the  anarchic, violent and   hilarious

Juvenile Writings of


(1775-1817) As a teenager, Jane Austen wrote short plays, stories and novels filled with extravagant farce, some of which she copied out and reworked in later life. G.K. Chesterton said that, had she wished, she could have been “a buffoon like the Wife of Bath.”  Many of her characters are completely immoral, go unpunished and do well out of their crimes. Her family were entertained by these works, including the Reverend George Austen, who gave his daughter an expensive notebook in which to write down her Early Works, inscribing it on the first page “Effusions of Fancy by a very young Lady, consisting of tales in a style completely new”. Later critics have been put in mind of Ionesco.

” The show delighted a capacity audience” John M Morrison, Sevenoaks Literary Festival 

“SUPERB……. THE MOST ENCHANTING AND THE FUNNIEST EVENING I HAVE HAD FOR YEARS!  Immaculate timing, like an Austen after-dinner family entertainment.  How could anyone be so brilliant at the age of 14? Dr. Johnson would have rolled down the stairs with the drollery of it!”

Fiona Macdonald, writer and editor.

“With her great sense of fun, Karin Fernald is able to deliver the hilarious antics and farce that fill the short plays and novels of the teenage Jane.”

Jill Webster, Jane Austen Society

“A captivating and humorous performance, Karin Fernald not only manages to portray the playful nature of Austen’s juvenile works but also to interpret the diverse range of characters aptly and dynamically”

Celine McDaid, Deputy Curator, Dr Johnson’s House, Gough Square