Festive experience: “Christmas at Randalls”

This year we are delighted to present a brand new immersive experience bringing the famous Christmas scenes from Emma to life.

23 Nov — 7 Jan 2024

Jane Austen wrote Emma in 1814 whilst living here in Chawton and it was published on 23 December in 1815. This year the House will again resonate with Emma’s story as key scenes from the novel are brought to life using specially commissioned audio, along with decorations and scents.

Moving from room to room, visitors will follow the story of Emma’s Christmas Eve dinner at Randalls and the fateful snowstorm that follows through a specially created audio installation starring Sally Scott as the matchmaking heroine Emma Woodhouse and Bertie Carvel as Mr Elton – the over-confident clergyman who proposes to her on Christmas Eve. The cast also features Carlyss Peer as the narrator and Dominic Gerrard as Mr John Knightley.

Sounds and scents from the story, from creaking carriages to roaring coal fires, will contribute to the immersive effect throughout the House. Handcrafted decorations made from discarded copies of Emma will echo themes from the story, adding another layer to the experience and nodding to the eighteenth-century passion for paper crafting. A first edition of Emma will also be on display.

“Christmas at Randalls” will run from Thursday 23 November – Sunday 7 January 2024 and is included with House admission.