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Breeches, Bonnets and Balls

Breeches, Bonnets and Balls

Expressions becomes a haven for Jane Austen fans next week as the charmingly accomplished comedian Penny Ashton mashes up breeches, bonnets and big balls...with her comedy show Promise and Promiscuity. This mash up of all things Jane Austen, is a one-woman show based on the novels of Jane Austen, replete with songs and gags. Ashton – a well-known comedian and poet – plays all eight characters in this familiar tale of two impoverished sisters looking for husbands.

Miss Ashton has stolen Miss Austen’s best lines to bring this musical to life with an authentic twist. Jane Austen is one of the most the famous writers of the 1800s including Pride and Prejudice. Ashton comments that Jane Austem '' has this really wide appeal, which is pleasing when you're doing shows….you get the 70-year-old ladies, but then there are lots of 16, 17 and 18-year-old girls - and some guys."

The show features classical music reworked by Robbie Ellis and lyrics by Ashton. As Elizabeth Bennett herself says: “Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can.”

Ashton has a closer connection than most to literary legend Jane Austen. One of her distant relatives, judge and politician Thomas Langlois Lefroy, was rumoured to be Austen's lover in the late 1790s so she says performing the show is extra special.

Promise and Promiscuity at Expressions is part of a hectic schedule that has included performances in three different shows during the New Zealand International Comedy Festival as well as a guest spot during the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival. After her New Zealand Tour she take the show to a festival being held in the late author's honour this September in Bath, England. So join Expressions and follow the fortunes of Miss Elspeth Slowtree as she battles literary snobbery, her mother's nerves and Cousin Horatio, all armed with a superior wit, blushing countenance and generally being quite bright... you know... for a girl. Balls will be attended, crosses will be stitched and manners will be minded, all with not one ankle in sight. And for only $20 a ticket.

“…in the hands of Misses Ashton and Austen, this is an ‘attractive ball’ of a show.” - NZ Herald

“Promise and Promiscuity, as a self-penned poke at Pride and Prejudice, is the perfect vehicle for an actress

at the height of her power, for Penny Ashton is a virtuosa of rare skill…..a treat not to be missed.” – Robert Gilbert, Theatreview

“…a textbook example of how to do a great one woman show.” ´´´´´ CBC

“… will please both Janeites and Jane-whos?” ´´´´ Winnipeg Free Press


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