A NEW adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion takes in Dorset this month on its UK tour.

KATE McGregor, a former Thomas Hardye schoolgirl, is set to return to Dorset to bring her theatre company's adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion to Lighthouse in Poole.

Kate, founder of and artistic director at Theatre6, has already taken the play to Dorchester Corn Exchange and is about to set out on a tour of larger venues, including a run at Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts from September 20 to 22.

Speaking on the phone from Chicago, where she lives with her fiancé, Kate said she was first drawn to theatre because she was interested in telling stories. In 2010 she set up Theatre6, taking productions on tours of libraries, the south west and with production Gabriel, across the UK.

She added: "For me Theatre6 was about getting the opportunity to do things my way. When we were setting up I'd think about what story I wanted to tell."

It was never easy in the beginning though, Kate said.

"We did our first show on a budget of £200 and to tiny audiences but if you have a good time while doing it people will want to come and see it. Theatre is so hard to make you have to love what you're doing. You need to find a project that makes you want to get up in the morning."

Kate got involved in the Dorchester theatre scene at an early age - after working on a Dorchester community play she went on to train at the National Theatre Studio and Drama Studio in London. She has a first from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education.

Kate said she had never read Persuasion before she chose to adapt it for the stage.

"It's a story about heartbreak. I was fascinated thinking about how you can adapt it. It's a very simple love story about a woman falling in love with someone who she is not allowed to marry. It's a really powerful story.

"In 1815 to be in love and fall in love was a revolutionary act because typically people married for money and for this character in Persuasion to fall in love is revolutionary in itself."

The show features live music and an original musical score with characters breaking out of the scene to address the audience, accompanied by a musical instrument.

Being part of an all-female creative team in Theatre 6 is something Kate is passionate about.

"I'm particularly proud that the people who have put the show together are all women, it was never planned that way but I'm quite excited by the idea that in touring theatre we have this happening because you don't see it happening very often. You don't often see an all-female creative team and I love that it's a fierce, female production."

The show's tour will begin in Winchester, Hampshire, the county of Austen's birth, and will next move to Lighthouse in Poole, Dorset.

Theatre6's Persuasion previously toured smaller venues in May, including the Corn Exchange in Dorchester and the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis.

Kate said: "It's been wonderful taking the play to all these places that had a connection with Jane Austen, especially Lyme Regis, which is such an iconic location in the book.

"And then to take the play to the Theatre Royal in Winchester is very special as it's so close to Chawton and also the 200th anniversary year of her death."

*Persuasion, Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts, September 20 to 22. Call the box office for tickets. For more information about Theatre6, see theatre6.co.uk