‘Pride and Prejudice’ swaps its bonnets, long dresses and Georgian attire for knee length skirts, rolled hair and Post WW2 fashion in this adaptation!
Whether it’s viewed as a romantic, Austen masterpiece or ‘that really boring novel we had to study in English lit’, everyone has heard of this 19th century novel. However, this adaptation of the book is not set in our beloved Georgian period, but Post World War 2.
The laughs could be heard throughout the theatre. The acting was impressive, and although ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is sometimes supposed to be somewhat serious, the play was in fact full of humour, especially the light-hearted characters Mr Bennett, Mr Collins, and, of course, Mrs Bennett. They had the audience laughing throughout the show. It was an excellent portrayal of these foolish characters.
The director translated the play to fit the 1940s time period seamlessly. Originally, Elizabeth is a headstrong girl who doesn’t need a husband, walks places instead of getting carriages, and speaks frankly to men. However, in this version Elizabeth is in the factory job that she took on during the war, which is frowned upon by Caroline, who makes some comments that imply that men are the ones who should be carrying out the work. But Elizabeth is feisty and free-spirited, portrayed very well by the actress Isobel Hamilton, who was likeable and strong-minded. My favourite sequence was the dance sequence when Bingley and Jane are flirting, and Elizabeth is standing next to Darcy. They exchange awkward glances, before she’s overwhelmed with excitement to see Wickham, then overwhelmed with awkwardness when she tries to get past Collins. It was hilarious to watch and executed very well by the cast and director.
Often, romance on stage can come across as cheesy and cliché, but in this version the relationship between Mr Collins and Charlotte was far funnier than in the book: Mr Collins made more weasel-like, and Charlotte more likeable and sweet. The difference between the two was amusing and awkward. However, this contrasted to Bingley and Jane, who were both sweet and humble, making the audience feel at ease when they finally reunite at the end after the confusing chase for each other’s hearts. And, of course, Elizabeth and Darcy are a couple loved by all, and none the less in this adaptation – Darcy brooding, yet appealing, compared to Elizabeth’s feisty and friendly personality, opposites really do attract.
If you missed out on seeing this classic, then do not fear! T24 have tons more shows lined up. Including Rabbit Hole (30th Nov – 1st Dec), all of which are detailed on T24’s Facebook page.