June 28, 2013

Pride and Prejudice

I wanted to start this review with "it is a truth universally acknowledged" and perhaps end it with "that a new adaptation of a good novel is always welcomed"... "that Jane Austen's popularity has not dimmed after 200 years"..."that Wellington...." I think you get the idea. Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen's most popular, and therefore also her most adapted novel. The latest adaptation is a local production by Stagecraft playing now at Gryphon Theatre.

The play highlighted the comedy of the source material which is often lost in the translation. Look out in particular for speed dating and chiming teacups. The script writers, who doubled as Miss Bingley and one of the directors, did an excellent job. Some minor details were changed to make the story more easily understandable. They did well to convey so much of the original text in only three hours (which flew by).

The show stealers were Miss Bingley who spoke volumes with her facial expressions and the cringe worthy Mr Collins who proved that an accomplished attractive actor can make themselves appear unattractive. Every actor was so dedicated to their role that when there was a crowd on stage it was difficult to focus on the main action because so much else was going on, none of them faded into the background of the "chorus". The few line fumbles were handled well as were the dropped props. There were a lot of props (and scenery) cunningly simple and adaptable.

I think the highest praise that I can give is that it remains true to the novel but manages to make it accessible to a modern audience, or maybe that I want to go see it again.

Performances: June: 26-29 8pm, 30th 3pm,
July: 2-3 6.30pm, 4-6 8pm, 7th 3pm, 9-10 6.30pm, 11-13 8pm
Tickets: $22
You can find out more about Stagecraft on their website and Facebook

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