Step into Regency England with Austen Con

Make a bonnet, bake a Bath bun and learn Regency dancing at this year's fully-online annual Austen Con

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 (L -R) Emily Mae Jones, Liliana Braumberger, Madalyn McCandless, Avril Goode and Jacinta Scadden, recreate life in Jane Austen's Regency England. Photo: Jacinta Scadden.

(L -R) Emily Mae Jones, Liliana Braumberger, Madalyn McCandless, Avril Goode and Jacinta Scadden, recreate life in Jane Austen's Regency England. Photo: Jacinta Scadden.

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The third annual Austen Con on November 7, 2020 is a celebration and exploration of all things Jane Austen.

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Author Jane Austen was born in 1775 and died at the still-young age of 42, having written only a handful of books.

Yet the enormous popularity of Jane Austen's novels lives on and has led to movies, musicals and even zombies and has inspired hundreds of Regency-romance writers.

One of England's most beloved novelists, Jane wrote from a young age, initially to amuse her family. Her six major novels including Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey, are set amongst the British landed gentry and lauded worldwide for their wit, romance, and social commentary.

The third annual Austen Con is a celebration and exploration of all things Jane Austen.

Running live online from 9am - 5pm on Saturday, November 7, 2020, Austen Con presents an array of local and international guest presenters and expert enthusiasts exploring Jane's life and times and her literacy legacy.

Completely online, participants can choose their own Jane Austen adaptation, learn bonnet making or try a class in making Austen Bath buns presented by former Master Chef contestant Jess Jenkins.

You can explore Regency fashions, try an introduction to Austen landscape drawing, take a beginners Regency dance class or enjoy an Austen-twisted cabaret and burlesque.

You are also invited to join lively discussions and watch some of Melbourne's finest arts companies bring Austen's words to life.

The program runs concurrently across two Youtube channels on the day - Pemberley and Netherfield.

"There are a lot of similarities between Austen's life and some of our lockdown/iso experiences at the moment", said writer and artistic director Sharmini Kumar. "We're all trying to find ways to entertain ourselves. I love fan conventions and I love the real mix of things that go into them - fan art, merchandise, meeting other fans. I wanted to do something for Austen fans that captured that - the community, the fun, the thoughtfulness. This year we also have increased accessibility due to the online format, including participation from vendors and contributors from various continents."

Also included in the ticket price is access to the Mansfield Park Market Hub and to the 24 Carrot Productions online Jane Austen-themed Escape Room. Events and escape room are still accessible for ticket holders 48 hours after the end of Austen Con.

Running prior to the day from November 5, and as a part of Austen Con, 24 Carrot Productions also presents a limited season of the new online show Introduction to Emma. Written by 24 Carrot Productions Artistic Director and Austen Con Director Sharmini Kumar, Introduction to Emma invites audiences into an ordinary (online) university classroom where a passionate English Lit lecturer is welcoming students to their first class of the semester. Both heartfelt and humorous, the students wander through discussions about fandom, race, gender, class and privilege. And this is only their first lesson...

Following on from two highly successful years, Austen Con is normally a Melbourne/Australia-based live event, however the current global pandemic has created a unique opportunity for international access to the convention.

Tickets: $20. Bookings and enquiries: online only at www.24carrotproductions.com/austen-con

Full program of events: www.24carrotproductions.com/ac-program

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