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Review of Pride and Prejudice
The Company's production of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice rattles along at break neck speed in order for experienced director Alison Munro to condense an epic novel into one enjoyable evening.
Katie Ryan's Mrs Bennet is keen to marry off her five daughters to rich husbands. The principal reason being only male heirs can inherit the family estate. Creepy cousin Reverend Collins would have that privilege.
Jane's the pretty one, Lizzie is witty and intelligent, Mary reads a lot but mostly makes fatuous remarks, Lydia is the spoilt youngest and poor Kitty just seems to miss out.
There are various shenanigans as a dubious, penniless soldier runs off with Lydia. Jane doesn't know why Mr Bingley has rejected her. A wonderfully slimy Mr Collins (Neil Sullivan) is rejected by Lizzie and still his titanic ego remains inflated.
But the romance we are all here for is the slow burning relationship of Lizzie Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. The former from lower gentry maintaining certain prejudices against the latter aristocratic stereotype. The latter too proud to love one of lower standing.
Will these eighteenth century English folk of different class see beyond the social and cultural stigma of the time? Director Alison Munro brings a fresh zest to this familiar story.
Her cast give very able performances. Katie Ryan is terrific whilst Alan Wade grabs all the best lines as her long suffering husband, Mr Bennet. Suzie James puts in a convincing performance as the self assured Lizzie and John Ansari's Mr Darcy puts in a suitably mannered turn, and even has the "phwoar" factor of Colin Firth!