I have a confession to make. I’m not one to sit and watch period drama’s. Yes, I confess now. BUT……. this Autumn I will be sitting comfortably in front of the television to watch a new adaptation of an unfinished novel by Jane Austen. In January 1817, Jane began work on a new novel she called The Brothers, later titled Sanditon upon its first publication in 1925, and completed eleven chapters before stopping work in mid-March 1817, probably because her illness prevented her from continuing, called SANDITON.

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I was honoured on behalf of this publication, Valley Times to be invited last Friday to the EXCLUSIVE SCREENING of the first episode of Sanditon, a Red Planet and ITV production, hosted by The Soho Hotel, in, yes you guessed it, Soho in London.

The first episode took me by surprise as it’s witty, sexy, clever, well you do have the brilliant Andrew Davies as the writer, it’s also fast paced, with stunning surroundings, beautifully shot by the director, Olly Blackburn.

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To get you in the mood for Sanditon, which I’m sure will be a HUGE hit, the female lead is played by Rose Williams, who plays Charlotte Heywood who’s excited by the promise of adventure that Sanditon offers. The innovative Tom Parker (Kris Marshall) and his wife, Mary, (Kate Ashfield), endeavour to put Sanditon on the map by making it a go-to holiday destination, which Charlotte is eager to be involved in with the development of the town.

Along the way there’s also the canny and charming Lady Denham (Anne Reid), who I may add, was sitting behind me at the screening and said hello. She as Lady Denham has a sharp tongue and mind. She is loaded and she know’s that there are many after her money. Also, the first time Anne Reid came to my attention is when she was getting down with James Bond. Who remembers The Mother with Daniel Craig?

As I have said, some are after Lady Denham’s fortune and one individual who is, is Edward Denham, (Jack Fox) who has an eye for women and his sole purpose is to ingratiate himself with Lady Denham and acquire her fortune. Edward, apart from a fascination with his main rival for the Denham fortune, Clara Brereton (Lily Sacofsy), also has to deal with a complex emotional manipulative relationship with his step-sister Esther Denham (Charlotte Spence) who is frank, has some great on-liners, has an unrequited love for Edward, and forms part of a toxic competition to win the favour and fortune of her aunt, Lady Denham.

Also, Miss Lambe, a powerful heiress (Crystal Clarke) who is headstrong and wilful heiress from the West Indies, has been bought to Sanditon to complete her education away from the temptations of London. And Tom’s unpredictable, but self made brother Sidney (Theo James) who is complex, slow to trust people, but loyal to his family, appear from the first episode who will no doubt cause some heart flutters along the way.

So, all I will say is to keep your eyes open for Sanditon, which begins on ITV this Autumn.

You will not be disappointed!

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Published by VALLEY TIMES

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