Frances Burney’s The Witlings Opens at Theatre Erindale, UTM

It was a comic novel that established the path for Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Evelina was published anonymously in 1778, but it was such an instant hit that the identity of its author soon became known. Frances Burney, known to family friends as “Fanny”, was the daughter of a well-known composer. And overnight the greatest theatrical producer of the age, Richard Brinsley Sheridan (namesake of the village after which many local landmarks are named) was practically beating down her door. He wanted a comedy for the Drury Lane Theatre. And Frances was only too happy to comply. The result was The Witlings, a Comedy of Manners that is about to become the next offering in Theatre Erindale’s “Uppity Women” season. The first draft was read in the Burney drawing room and applauded by the greatest wits of the age. Veteran playwright Arthur Murphy promised to see the novice work through the revision… Read More

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