Pride and Prejudice - REVIEW

Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s production of Pride and Prejudice is a faithful adaption of Jane Austen’s much-loved novel. To bring this to the stage, the writer, Laura Turner, distills the novel down to the key moments, but is able to retain much of the oft-quoted dialogue. Chapterhouse produces theatre in historic locations. This genteel production is perfectly suited for the location of Dunster, a town locked in time.

The play opens, as the novel, with news of the arrival of a wealthy man in the neighbourhood, sending the matriarchal Mrs Bennet’s heart a-flutter with thoughts of prospects for her daughters.

Emily-Rose Hurdiss turns in a fine performance as Elizabeth, more than able to meet her antagonists head on in any argument or witty exchange. Most of the actors multi-role, some with up to four parts. For example, Alex Bird’s odious Mr Collins draws laughter from the audience whilst his portrayal of the arch-cad Wickham seduces. The strength of the cast’s acting ensures this does not feel forced and the power of Austen’s wit shines through.

The costume is Regency period - the dashing red of the officers excites Lydia and Mrs Bennet. Jane and Elizabeth’s more demure outfits contrast with Miss Bingley’s ostentatious London fashion, pointing to one of the main themes of the text: deception.

This production does nothing new but is a like a glass of Pimms: delightful on a warm summer’s evening.

© Samantha Coughlan August 2017

19th August 2017
Dunster Castle

On tour til 3rd September 2017

Mr Darcy & Mr Bennet: Dominic Quinn
Mr Bingley, Mr Gardiner & Col Fitzwilliam: Graham Hill
Mr Wickham, Sir William Lucas & Mr Collins: Alex Bird
Elizabeth Bennet: Emily-Rose Hurdiss
Jane Bennet, Miss Darcy & Miss de Bourgh: Sadie Pepperrell
Lydia Bennet & Caroline Bingley: Hannah Keeley
Mary Bennet, Charlotte Lucas & Mrs Reynolds: Gemma Wray
Mrs Bennet, Lady Catherine de Bourgh & Mrs Gardiner: Harriet Knight

Director: Antony Law
Adaptation: Laura Turner

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