Studio Theatre, Ashley Road Salisbury

Tickets: Salisbury Information Centre, Fish Row, Salisbury Phone: 01722 342860 or from

Northanger Abbey.

Date25th May 2019
SocietyStudio Theatre Salisbury
VenueStudio Theatre
Type of ProductionPlay
DirectorLinda Hayman


Author: Brian Oliver

Northanger Abbey is a classic novel by Jane Austen which was adapted for the stage by Tim Luscombe.

It is a story about Seventeen year old Catherine who is obsessed with Gothic novels. Family friends have taken her to Bath for the winter, so that she can be introduced to the polite society and invited to parties and Grand balls. She becomes friendly with two different families and from the Tilney family she is invited to spend a period of time at Northanger Abbey.

Having being very impressed on my previous visit to the Studio Theatre, I was eagerly looking forward to seeing this adaption of Northanger Abbey.  However whilst enjoying a pre-show drink, my enthusiasm was somewhat dulled by reading in the programme that the play was about two and half hours long, Nor did it help when the doors to the auditorium were opened and a member of the theatre staff was clearly heard saying that it was going to be hot in there tonight.

Thankfully, this production was excellent. There was high standard of performance from all the cast. The very wordy dialogue was delivered at a good pace, with a nice amount of light and shade. Initially I thought that the set looked very modern, but it was transformed with fabulous projected scenery throughout the play and together with wonderful period costumes it all looked superb. 

Laura Melville playing the central character Catherine, a very complex role, was hardly ever off the stage and I felt that she carried the play with an absolutely magnificent performance. Madeleine Ellis, playing Isabella, was also of equal standing, we did not see much of her during the second act, but hers was also a memorable performance.  

Once again I thought that Studio Theatre produced an excellent play, which was equal to, and possibly better, than many of the professional touring productions that we see in our area

Unfortunately it was very warm in the auditorium, however because it was such an excellent production my attention was held throughout, but at the end it was so nice to get out into cool evening air.