Show: Pride and Prejudice
Venue: Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Churchill Theatre Bromley and UK Tour
Credits: By Jane Austen, adapted for the stage by Simon Reade. Produced by Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.
Performance Date: 22/09/2016
Pride and Prejudice
Paul Johnson | 24 Sep 2016 18:28pm
Every fan of Austen’s work feels a certain level of apprehension before seeing any sort of adaptation of her novels, especially Pride and Prejudice. Fear that no one will be able to capture the elegance and effortlessness of her writing succumbs you as you walk into the theatre, however within seconds of it starting the witty and charming repertoire eases all those worries. From the opening scene the cast from Regent’s Park Open Air theatre’s production envelop the audience into the delightful world the characters live in whilst also acknowledging the humour in the social expectations of the 19th Century. The classic tale of the five Bennett sisters and their interactions with the male elites of their society is revitalised by the lively, yet still powerful production.
The set is simplistic, yet the graceful way that it is utilised is undoubtedly beautiful. The seamless transitions from one scene to the next are woven into the story line and in most cases actually add to the artistry. Music and lighting perfectly compliment the ambience of the play. The cast faultlessly assume their role and play it very true to the book. Matthew Kelly and Felicity Montague worked beautifully in their roles as Mr and Mrs Bennett. The characters that are easily overlooked in the novel were very much a part of the lively and playful atmosphere and had the audience laughing out loud at numerous points throughout the production.
However, unsurprisingly it is the chemistry between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (played by Benjamin Dilloway and Tafline Steen) that steals the show. They are both exactly as they should be; the delightful and quick-witted Elizabeth and Solemn and Mysterious Darcy. It is easy to think that Colin Firth is the only person capable of proficiently doing justice to the character of Darcy, however Dilloway did a perfectly good job.
As a huge Austen fan it is easy to notice small things that this adaptation leaves out or changes but it would be impossible to include everything without it lasting for much too long to keep the audience interested. Simon Reade’s adaptation respected the integrity of Austen’s most loved novel emphasising that ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife’. Even for those who are unfamiliar with Pride and Prejudice are bound to fall for the endearing characters and absorbing storyline.
- : admin
- : 22/09/2016