Entering the auditorium for an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice doesn’t always begin with seeing a disco ball hanging above the set. Jane Austen’s classic tale of true love has had quite the re-vamp, so grab your portable karaoke machine, this one might be a little different to the novel you remember. Our five reasons to see Pride and Prejudice* ( *sort of) while it’s tour stops in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Oxford and Southampton are as follows:
1: The karaoke!
When Jane Austen sat down to create this classic novel it is unclear if she envisioned it being accompanied by pop ballads sung through karaoke microphones. Regardless of this uncertainty, we are living for it! The scenes hilariously cut into the songs (complete with disco lights and a glitter ball) and they feel like they have had no other place but to glue together this story. The karaoke classics you are treated to include “I Think I Love You”, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “You’re So Vain” – a highlight of the show, telling Mr Darcy how it is.
2: The all female cast
Not only does this show take a chip out of the patriarchy (namely, Darcy), it is performed entirely by six super-talented women. Impeccable singing voices and great comedic acting from all make this show a delight. Notably, the show’s writer Isobel McArthur also stars as Mrs Bennett/Mr Darcy and portrays them in such a comic way. The rest of the cast do a magnificent job in their multiple roles too, with such differences between each of their characters.
3: It stays true to Jane Austen’s original story
Austen fans, do not fear. Aside from the karaoke, a scene in a bathroom and a few well placed swears, this adaptation doesn’t stray from the story you have loved since you were forced to read it in school many years ago. The way this novel can be adapted to include the 20th century extra bits but still hold it’s original narrative is great merit to Austen’s talent of creating a timeless classic.
4: The comedy
Although the original has comedy throughout, and the various adaptations have taken this further with the characterisations (mainly of Mrs Bennett), this work takes the “funny” to the next level. Staging of Jane’s rainy journey to the Bingley home (with a static horse and a water spray bottle) and a scene satirically suggesting Darcy takes a dip in a nearby lake are stand out moments.
5: The entire show is a joy!
All the elements of the other four points above tied together with a killer script create something that is really quite unique. Why would you not want to see a fun show like this one? Our only negative point we would make is that we want more karaoke! In fact, a whole sub-genre of musicals could be born here…
Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) visits the following venues:
15th October – 2nd November 2019: Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham
23rd January – 15th February 2020: Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
25th February – 29th February 2020: Leeds Playhouse, Leeds
10th March – 14th March 2020: The Playhouse, Oxford
17th March – 28th March 2020: NST City, Southampton