Players bring Mansfield Park to stage

Mansfield Park to be staged at Crucible Studio, Sheffield, from July 22-26. Pictured left to right are:  Kate Spivey (playing Maria), Ashleigh Gray (Julia),, Jan Ibberson (Lady Bertram) and Lara Bundock (Fanny).
Mansfield Park to be staged at Crucible Studio, Sheffield, from July 22-26. Pictured left to right are: Kate Spivey (playing Maria), Ashleigh Gray (Julia),, Jan Ibberson (Lady Bertram) and Lara Bundock (Fanny).
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Aristocratic elegance comes to the stage in the retelling of a captivating novel.

Twenty-seven actors and actresses will perform in a production of Jane Austen’s classic Mansfield Park at Sheffield’s Crucible Studio this week.

Although this would be a challenge for many drama groups, the Denys Edwards Players (DEP) company is no stranger to large-cast plays with previous productions such as Treasure Island and The Canterbury Tales.

Published just over 200 years ago, Mansfield Park tells the story of Fanny Price who at the age of ten is uprooted from her humble family home to the bustling, aristocratic household of her aunt and uncle, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram, where she finds herself buffeted from one crisis to the next. Throughout this turmoil one thing remains a constant - her apparent, unrequited love for the generous, worthy and steadfast Edmund Bertram.

Among the cast is Sue McCormick, who plays the role of Gipton, housekeeper at Mansfield Park.

Sue, who lives in New Whittington, is the company’s secretary and has an enviable reputation as a talented actress, singer and director.

Josh Crowther, 15, a pupil at Hasland Hall School plays the role of Tom Bertram as a boy. He was spotted by DEP’s director Valerie Mills in his most recent role, a professional world premiere dance adaptation of Kes at the Crucible Theatre in April.

Josh began performing at 11 when he became a pupil at Directions Theatre Arts and next month will perform in Directions’ third year at Disneyland, Paris. His previous credits include John in Mansfield Palace Theatre’s annual pantomime Peter Pan.

Mansfield Park runs at the Crucible from July 22 to 26 at 7.15pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm. For tickets, contact 0114 249 6000 or www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/event/mansfield-park-14