Winchester's Chesil Theatre is putting on a dramatisation of Jane Austen's novel Persuasion to mark this years 200th anniversary of her death in the city which occurred on July 18, 1817.

The play is an adaptation by Mark Healey of her last completed novel, which was published posthumously in 1818.

In Mark Healey's production we meet Jane Austen in her last days in the house in College Street as she transmutes her own ill-fated love affair and that of her heroine, Anne Elliot, into a bittersweet tale of loneliness and longing. Anne has been persuaded by her well-meaning father, Sir Walter Elliot, and her godmother, Lady Russell, that naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, is not a suitable match. Seven years later Anne and Wentworth, now a wealthy captain meet again. Will Jane Austen give them a happy ending?

The director, Sarah Hawkins, plans to use six actors, three male and three female, to cover all the characters, Anne and those she meets in Bath, Lyme Regis and in the country houses Jane Austen knew so well. The director explains: "This production will be an enjoyable challenge for the performers. They will each take on two or three roles in Jane Austen's perceptive and witty story of society, love - and money - of course."

If you wish to take a role in this bicentennial production of Persuasion there are readings being held on Friday May 5 at 7.45pm and auditions on Saturday May 6 at 2pm and Sunday May 7 at 7.45pm.

If you would prefer to watch the play, the performance dates are July 15 - 22 at 7.45pm and a matinee performance on Saturday July 22 at 2.30pm.

For more information contact Lisbeth Rake on Tel: 01794 388245 or email: