Part V: Northanger Abbey, cont’d.

This is not a column about another movie adaptation of Northanger Abbey.  This is a column about a stage play written by New York-based playwright Lynn Marie Macy that is, in my not-so-humble opinion, the single best adaptation of Northanger Abbey currently available.  It has been my practice to review each adaptation in chronological order, but this one is different.  I’ve seen it twice, most recently in 2006, and I therefore cannot say that I’ve re-watched it especially for the Odyssey.

Here are links to images and reviews of this delightful play:

Solitary Elegance

Interview with Lynn Marie Macy

NYtheatre.com

offoffonline.com

The Blue Room Theatre

As you can see from these glowing reviews, the play takes Northanger Abbey and combines it with the story told by Ann Radcliffe in Catherine Morland’s favorite book, The Mysteries of Udolpho.  The parallels are striking, and this is a major reason I was so peeved at Andrew Davies having Catherine read The Monk in his script for NA07.  To me, this means he just doesn’t get the story.  NA is not my favorite book, but the story is not nearly as dull as Davies makes it.  Macy understands that it’s a parody of Gothic novels, and she brings out the humor that is in the book.  Davies thinks he can improve upon the book.  Macy knows full well that she can’t, but what she does is help us understand it better.  That’s a huge difference and I can honestly say that I liked the book better after having seen her play.

If Lynn Marie Macy’s Northanger Abbey is produced near you, do yourself a favor and go.  It’s just wonderful.

Advertisements