March 22, 2015

Pride and Prejudice

Hutt Repertory theatre's latest offering is a version of Pride and Prejudice. It was adapted for the stage by Jon Jory, an American. He has adapted other Austen novels as well as creating a one act play entitled Darcy and Elizabeth and a musical version of Pride and Prejudice. The script is awkward; characters address the audience as narrator at different times, once quite unnecessarily as they explained what was then acted. Elizabeth's sparring match with Wickham after she's discovered his true character was pointless as the real meat was left out, it was not helped by the conversation being portrayed as a flirtation.

Elizabeth herself was surprisingly exotic. She appeared to be more appropriate to play Miss Bingley and Charlotte Lucas (far too pretty) would have suited Elizabeth much better. Miss Bingley in turn came off as mentally deficient and the actress would have suited the sedate Charlotte much better. Jane was appropriately pretty but then so was Mary who is meant to be plain. A limited pool of actors can result in actors playing roles in the wrong age range, something Hutt Reptrory has suffered from in the past. The two youngest Bennet sisters were aged appropriately unfortunately the army men Wickham and Fitzwilliam were too young.

Ten percent of the cast didn't muddle their lines; Elizabeth went so far as referring to Colonel Fiztwilliam as Mr and mispronouncing Lady Catherine's name. Darcy was wooden and didn't unbend at any point. The dancing was distracting and the use of the waltz terribly historically inaccurate.

Despite the entertainment value of picking apart the production it was quite boring. It lacked energy or any sort of unique properties. By trying to be true to the novel it lost the "light, bright and sparkling" nature all together. It brings to mind Stagecraft's production of Pride and Prejudice which should be held up as an example of how good amateur theatre can be.

Performances: 18-20 March, 8pm; 21st-22 March, 4pm; 24-28 March, 8pm
Tickets: $20
Venue: Theatre 108

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