New production of Silas Marner heads to Worthing and Havant

Silas Marner
Silas Marner

Conn Artists Theatre Company in association with Worthing Theatres and The George Eliot Fellowship promise a fresh and uplifting stage version of Silas Marner by George Eliot.

They will open their regional tour at Worthing’s Connaught Theatre this September, with 7.30pm performances from Thursday, September 26 to Saturday, September 28 and a matinee on Friday, September 27 at 2pm.

They also head to The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, 56 East Street, Havant, PO9 1BS on Thursday, October 3 at 7.30pm.

The play tells the story of a poor weaver wrongfully condemned and outcast from society, who becomes a doomed miser and recluse, until he is forced to take in a young orphan girl.

Their mutual friendship leads to joy, love and his redemption.

Silas Marner, the great Victorian epic novel, is brought to the stage in the bicentenary year of George Eliot’s birth by the Conn Artists Theatre Company, following on from their hit production of The Four Men.

The play, featuring Ross Muir as Silas Marner. Set in the early years of the 19th century, is performed by an ensemble cast of seven actors accompanied by music and songs of the period.

Silas Marner was originally adapted for the stage by Geoffrey Beevers from George Eliot’s novel of the same name. Originally created by Geoffrey for the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, this revival by Conn Artists Theatre Company is to tour the play regionally for the first time.

Supported by Arts Council England, The George Eliot Fellowship and Worthing Theatres, the pro-duction will tour to 15 venues after the Connaught Theatre.

Director Nick Young, who trained as a director with the Royal Shakespeare Company, said: “The story contains powerful and socially engaging themes relevant to audiences today including the integration of the lonely individual into the community and explores social cohesion; the goodness to be found in everyday human relations, the importance of acts of kindness between people; the pursuit of money not leading to happiness; adoption; and the chance of salvation from a point of spiritual despair.

“This is why Conn Artists have chosen to produce the piece as the issues explored are so topical specially when considering immigration, the break-up or loss of communities, more diverse and unconventional forms of family life; and today’s over-emphasis on the accumulation of wealth.

“The stage version of Silas Marner is a wonderful opportunity for actors to create live theatre- its sounds and actions using the simplest of props to create a whole community and drama. Masks and puppets are used to enhance the production.

“The great range of three-dimensional characters, and the moral dilemmas faced by many of them, offers performers enormous scope, whilst at the same time creating an ensemble company.

“Silas Marner is a multi-faceted piece of work which draws the audience in, has them sitting on the edge of their seats, makes them worry about what will be the outcome of a situation, and allows them to rejoice in the ‘happily ever after’ conclusion, which has only been earned through the behaviour of the eponymous hero.”

Tickets for Silas Marner are available from £16.50 and can be bought from the Worthing Theatres box office on 01903 206206 and online at worthingtheatres.co.uk. Contact the Havant venue for Havant tickets.

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