We chatted to Sasha about starring in the new production of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
Hi Sasha, could you explain what Persuasion is about? Persuasion is about class, rituals, love and freedom.
But this isn’t your typical adaptation is it? Can you tell me more about what audiences can expect? No, it definitely is not your typical or tradition adaptation, it’s pretty wild! There isn’t a single bonnet in sight. I think audiences might be a bit shocked – but hopefully hugely entertained!
How has it been working on bringing this story to the stage so far? It’s been so much fun so far. It is quite physical, which has been a bit of a surprise!
How do you see your character Anne? I think Anne is trapped – she feels stuck in her life. Part of that is her upbringing and family (she comes from a lot of privilege but with that comes huge restrictions). Also she puts herself in a sort of self-imposed lockdown. After she turns down Captain Wentworth’s proposal she retreats and shrinks herself away. The play is her journey to freedom.
What made you want to be part of the production initially? I love Jane Austen! I was totally addicted to reading her books when I was a teenager. Then when I met Jeff James (the director) he explained what he wanted to do in his version of the story and I thought, ‘this is totally bonkers…I must do it!’.
What do you think will appeal to people about the story of Anne and Captain Wentworth? For me personally, the story of Anne and Wentworth is about hope. They somehow manage to find their way back to each other, despite being against all the odds. I think the idea that true love will always its way to you (what’s meant for you will never pass you) is appealing. Also, Wentworth has the best chat up line in the world ‘You pierce my soul. I’m half agony, half hope.’ Swoon!
By Emma Clarendon
Persuasion will open at the Rose Theatre on the 3rd March, with previews from 26th February and running until 19th March 2022. The production will then run at Alexandra Palace from the 7th to 30th April, followed by Oxford Playhouse from the 4th to the 14th May 2022.