Friday 25th June 2021


Enjoy an open-air theatre production of Jane Austen and The Cheltonians, an award winning play, by West End playwright Caroline Summerfield, in the beautiful grounds of Chawton House.

What if at Jane Austen’s death, not all of her letters and manuscripts from her stay in Cheltenham had been burnt by her sister? Enter her novel The Cheltonians. As observant as ever of Society’s ills and set in 1816, the year following Waterloo, Emma Woodhouse now newly married, finds herself in Cheltenham sampling the waters from its spas. But the arrivals of a Jamaican born widow of a wealthy ship owner and then that of an army officer, soon prove too great a temptation for Emma, and it is not long before she starts matchmaking with disastrous consequences. Jane Austen and The Cheltonians provides an insightful and timeless social commentary on our manners and our morals.

Following its sell-out premier in March 2019 at the Cheltenham Literary Festival Anthology Extended, the play toured to the 7th Stroud Theatre Festival in September 2019, then to the Everyman Theatre Cheltenham Irving Studio in February 2020 where it sold out and to the London Theatre, Churchill Theatre Bromley in March 2020.  Due to COVID further touring, supported by Arts Council England, was suspended.  The production now resumes its tour in 2021 at Chawton House Hampshire on 25th June 2021, followed by the Bath Jane Austen Festival  on 15th September 2021.


‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a regular theatregoer in possession of Jane Austen’s novels must be in want of a good Jane Austen play – and Natura Theatre Company’s production of Jane Austen and the Cheltonians did not disappoint!’ (Kattie Preedy for Glos Info Online Magazine) 


 “Arts and culture activities bring communities together and this tour of Jane Austen and the Cheltonians, supported through our National Lottery Project Grants programme is no different. This project will bring a range of community groups together to explore Jane Austen through new eyes, reflecting the diversity of contemporary England.” (Phil Gibby,  SW Area Director, Arts Council England)

Doors open at 5.30pm. Performance begins at 7.00pm.

Purchase your refreshments from one of the food and drink stations before taking your place on the South Lawn.

Tickets are £15

Additional information:

Please be aware of Government guidelines with regards to the latest advice on Covid-19. There may still be some social distancing measures in place. Ticket holders are encouraged to bring picnic rugs and foldable chairs to this event.

The play’s running time is 85 minutes and there is no interval.

There are accessible parking spaces available in the staff car park a short walk from the South Lawn. Please email if you have any concerns about accessing this event.

The event will run whatever the weather and refunds will not be issued due to weather conditions.