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Novel experience for Eva as Austen’s young heroine

Northanger Abbey is at the Windsor Theatre Royal from Monday, March 20 - Saturday, March 25

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

Novel experience for Eva as Austen’s young heroine

Imaginations run wild in this latest adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.

Leaving the cloistered surroundings of her family home, Catherine Morland gets her first taste of society after accepting an invitation from family friends the Allens to join them in Bath for the winter season.

The play marks two centuries since the novel’s publication in 1817 and sees Eva Feiler step into the shoes of the book’s gothic novel-loving heroine.

“I love her [Catherine],” she said, “I think she is an amazing person.

“She’s young, she comes to a town with very little experience of the real world, but she is also very headstrong and impulsive.

“She’s got no filter in certain social situations, which gets her into trouble some times.”

The character is the first leading role for Feiler, who graduated Guildhall School of Music and Drama three years ago, as well as her first chance to take part in a touring production.

She added: “It’s my first time in a leading role, which has been really exciting. You just have to go ‘right, this is a brilliant opportunity’ and shut your eyes and jump in.”

It’s a big step for Feiler, from Bristol, who admits she didn’t come from a particularly ‘actor-y’ family, but got the bug through her school drama teacher.

In fact, such was her innocence about the industry, her first step in applying for training was simply to type ‘top five drama schools’ into Google.

Since then, her credits have included stints with the Royal Shakespeare Company and a spot in lunchtime TV favourite Father Brown.

Speaking about the differences between acting for stage and screen, she said: “I think it’s about having a huge discipline with yourself.

“In TV you might be in your trailer and then you get a knock on the door saying ‘we’re doing scene eight’ – even if that’s the first one of the day. But in theatre you get to play out a whole life in an hour or two. It’s a different type of stamina, but it can also be easier in a way because it’s chronological and all there in one sitting.”

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