Theatre News

Caroline Quentin stars in Fanny Hill at Bristol Old Vic

The production is adapted from the classic erotic novel by April de Angelis

Caroline Quentin will lead an ensemble of six actors
Caroline Quentin will lead an ensemble of six actors
© Dan Wooller

Comedy actress Caroline Quentin is to star in a new stage version of The Life and Times of Fanny Hill, based on the infamous erotic novel written in 1748.

The production, which is adapted by April de Angelis (Jumpy) and directed by Michael Oakley, runs at the Bristol Old Vic from 5 February to 7 March 2015.

Quentin, known for her TV work in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek, has recently appeared on stage in Relative Values and Oh What A Lovely War.

"From the moment I read the play I saw how socially relevant it was to life today," she said of Fanny Hill.

"What is brilliant about it is that it deals with a dark subject in a humorous way. What I'm hoping to do with Michael Oakley and designer Andrew D Edwards, is work to make an exciting, challenging and innovative production."

The adaptation promises to turn the action of John Cleland's 1748 novel "on its head". Adapter April de Angelis said: "When I read the original novel, I discovered one learns very little of Fanny beyond what her name might suggest. I wondered what her 'real' memoirs might be like – so I rewrote the story of the book to include this."

The play marks the first co-production between Bristol Old Vic and Lamplighter Drama.

Bristol Old Vic's executive director Emma Stenning said: "Lamplighter are a fantastic emerging force in regional theatre. This adaptation's vivid combination of period atmosphere and modern sensibility make it a perfect project for Bristol Old Vic."