Pride and Prejudice
Paul Johnson | 27 Sep 2013 10:53am
The adaptation of Pride & Prejudice produced by DDOS at the Green Room was marvellous. A much shorter, potted version of the Jane Austen classic. This adapted version centres around three of the five Bennet Daughters, Elizabeth, Jane and Lydia and their quest for love and their Mother’s desire to marry her daughters off.
I’ve seen the wonderful BBC dramatisation and loved it – who can forget the infamous lake scene with Colin Firth in a wet shirt!! I think there is very little that can go wrong with this piece as the story in itself is enough to keep any audience entertained.
Director, Rosita Gibbons, did a wonderful job with this production. She particularly got the casting just right. I also loved the simple but effective, rotating set and the beautifully classic costumes.
The performances themselves were delightful – I felt that John Sherringham as Darcey and Rosalind Ellis as Elizabeth Bennet, fully captured the essence of their characters. Sherringham really gave the impression of how much affection Darcey felt for Elizabeth but I felt at times that Ms Ellis needed to show a bit more of this. In such a potted version where the scenes with them were few and far between, you really needed to see more of the passion brewing between the couple. Even when they were in disagreement you needed to think that at any moment they were going to kiss through such frustrations. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy their performances because I did and in particular their final scene, where they finally gave in to their true feelings. The audience had been waiting for this for so long and even “ah’d” in delight.
Emma Goldhawk and Saskia Wilkinson as Jane and Lydia were very good. I absolutely adored the childishness portrayed by Ms Wilkinson – you could see through her wonderfully expressive body language, the frustrations of a teenager. I did feel, however, that her relationship with Zac Smith who played George Wickham a little stilted. He gave a good performance but I think he was a little young for the part.
Another enjoyable performance was the snobbish cleric, William Collins, played by Trefor Levins. I found myself really liking his portrayal but also being really “creeped out” by him, which only goes to show how well he understood the part. He had great comic timing and reminded me of that annoying relative who you don’t mind popping round but you’d really rather left a lot sooner than they did.
Louise Blewitt was perfectly cast as Darcey’s Aunt – Lady Catherine De Bourgh. Despite a couple of line blunders, (which you can’t hold against her, most of her dialogue was quick and snappy) she showed flashes, at times, of a Dame Maggie Smith performance and was both charming and domineering in equal measure.
My favourite performances were the scenes involving the Hyacinth Bucket-esque Mrs Bennet, played by the wonderful Sarah-Jane Vincent and her constantly ironic husband who Jon Scarrott played to perfection. They truly understood their character brief, took it and ran with it. The audience loved them and in particular the scene where Lady De Bourgh made her surprise visit. Vincent’s scantiness coupled with her hilarious facial expressions were perfect. This couple worked so well together and completely stole the show.
I’ve never been to the Green Room before and have only seen DDOS perform in the much larger Dorking Halls, so this was a real treat. The space is a marvelous little place to put on some really intimate theatre. It was a shame, therefore, that members of the audience couldn’t keep their rather vocal opinions to themselves as at times the “heckling”, for want of a better word, really ruined some rather poignant scenes. Saying that, the whole show was a production of which I hope Ms Gibbons is very proud. Well done DDOS Cast and Crew.
- : admin
- : 24/09/2013