Can we persuade you to spend an evening with Jane?

By Holly Tregenza

WOULD you like to spend an evening with Jane Austen?

Thanks to a grant from the Campaspe Shire and not-for-profit Over the Farm Gate, you can.

Next Thursday the town hall is swinging its doors wide open to the public for a special event as part of their Austen exhibition, which is running until November 11.

Beginning at 6pm with a most appropriate English supper, the night will begin with a talk on rural health and wellbeing from physiologist Estella Hutchins followed by a viewing of the exhibition in the hall and a Jane Austen film at the Plaza Theatre.

“This is a great opportunity to give the community a break and the night has been subsidised by Over the Farm Gate for just that reason,” town hall committee member Anne Churches said.

“This is perfect for Jane Austen and literature enthusiasts, as well as keen history buffs, artists and crafts people, and secondary students studying literature or history.”

She encouraged those coming along to have a bit of fun with their outfits and wear something reflecting the Jane Austen era.

The exhibition itself, which can be perused during the hall's opening hours, features a remarkable collection of genuine regency fashion and paraphernalia.

Originally curated by Dressing Australia - Museum of Costume to mark Austen's death at 41, Be Persuaded — A Jane Austen Experience shows pieces rarely seen outside major city museums.

Gowns, boots, bonnets, toys, documents and more reflect life in the 18th and 19th century and help bring to life Austen's unforgettable characters.

An Evening with Jane tickets include supper, entry to the exhibition and the film and are available online at the town hall website as well as at the town hall. The cost is $20 per person, $30 for a couple, or $40 for a family of four.

Daytime entry to the exhibition is $10, or $8 for concession card holders and $4 for students.