About Contact Future Projects
A Tale of Two CitiesHuckleberry FinnNorthanger AbbeyDavid CopperfieldThe Prisoner of Zenda
  The Story  Cast & Characters  
  Isabella Thorpe (Rebecca Saire), James Morland (Luke Healy), Catherine Morland (Sarah-Jane Holm), Henry Tilney (James Wallace), Mrs Thorpe (Karen Lewis), Mrs Allen (Celia Bannerman)  
  Copyright Robert Workman  
  The Story


"No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine." The 17 year old daughter of a respectable clergyman in Wiltshire, she is a "shatter-brained" tearaway - fit only for a bat and a ball and a game of cricket. Her greatest delights are the gothic romances which were the pulp fiction of their day. Her head is swirling with ghosts and dead bodies and secret doors and mighty castles in far lands and cruel tyrants and dark secrets and cobwebs and necromancers.

Her mother's friend - the vain and empty headed Mrs Allen - invites Catherine to be her companion for a six week residence in Bath. Her excitement is scarcely to be contained! The centre of the fashionable world at the height of the season! Opportunities for romance beckon. On arrival, Catherine is disappointed. Nobody knows them, nobody takes any notice of them.

But things look up when she meets the intriguing Mr Tilney - a young clergyman, very droll and ironic, but rather handsome. Catherine meets the formidable General Tilney - Henry’s father - and he invites Catherine to spend the remainder of the season with him and his family at Northanger Abbey! When she gets there her imagination is soon working overtime. Dark chests contain strange papers, secret drawers open at the touch of a finger. And the General is a sinister figure. Why is Henry’s sister Eleanor melancholy and what is the truth about her mother - the late Mrs Tilney?

Catherine’s mistakes and misapprehensions lead her through a series of desperate humiliations. When General Tilney suddenly and unkindly exiles her from Northanger Abbey, she returns in deep despair and unhappiness to Fullerton. Henry Tilney alone has the key to her salvation.


Please direct any questions to: enquiries@northanger-abbey.co.uk


When it comes to adapting novels Matthew Francis is a remarkably consistent and judicious craftsman. His contribution to Austen mania is dramatically fluid, and funnier than one could hope...
Evening Standard

Francis shows a sure footing both as adaptor and director... the adaptation remains true to the original author's notions of good taste and poise...
Financial Times

Matthew Francis repeats his winning formula by remaining faithful to the spirit rather than the letter of the original, replacing the private contemplation of narrative with something more public and dramatic...
The Independent

His versions of The Prisoner of Zenda and A Tale of Two Cities were enormously accomplished, but with Northanger Abbey he has surely gone one better, lifting Austen's early novel from the page to the stage and transforming her eighteenth century depiction of social decorum and moral probity into the theatrical equivalent of a damn good read...
What's On

Photographs copyright Robert Workman
Click here to launch full size versions.

© Matthew Francis 2006