A Celebration of Maria Edgeworth

Posted on 4 July 2018

Former CECS and English PhD student, Adam Perchard returns to York with a production celebrating Maria Edgeworth

As part of the celebrations to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849), former CECS and English PhD student, Adam Perchard, returned to York to put on his production of Tales of Fashionable Life, A Work Based on Maria Edgeworth's The Absentee.

One Regency novel.  Three 21st-century lives.

1812.  An Irish noblewoman loses herself in the glittering whirl of fashionable London.  To save her, and find himself, her son must go back to the old country.

2018.  A trans woman, a cis gay man, and a Muslim drag queen stand proudly on a stage.  But how did they get here?   

Sometimes the only way forward

Is back.

Pop, opera, comedy, history, tragedy, and multiple bonnets collided in this queer cabaret retelling of Maria Edgeworth’s The Absentee, starring and inspired by the lives of three of London’s most dynamic cabaret artists.  As Le Strange, Mzz Kimberley, and The Nightbus took on the multiple characters of the novel, their own twenty-first century stories of social struggle and metamorphosis unfolded. 

Adam Perchard’s debut solo-author play pranced across the centuries to ask questions about prejudice & Pride, about race, gender, & queer identity, and about how many Madonna songs you can fit into a period drama.

The production was sponsored by the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, WRoCAH and York Mansion House, as part of the conference: The Worlds of Maria Edgeworth: Networks, Influence and Reception (29-30 June).  

See a short video of the production here