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Festival of Theatre 2024: Pride and Prejudice - sort of...

The sun is finally shining, and the Hurtwood Festival of Theatre is now well underway – so what better time for a joyous burst of Austen? The sisters are all present and correct – even the really boring one that no one wants to talk to – and the stage is set for a turbo-charged, post-‘Bridgerton’ rendition of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. This time around, Mrs Bennet is a loud-mouthed sociopathic stage manager of sorts, cracking the whip of her daughters’ marital (mis)fortunes, and Mr Bennet is (hilariously) a mere copy of the FT.  The dressing rooms and Quadrilles of Austen’s original satire have been unceremoniously swapped out for puking in bogs and dancing the macarena, whilst the weird sisters down bottles of wine and scoff wagon wheels in sexy slow motion. The pace is breathless throughout, with more costume changes and crazy accents than you can shake an old lady’s walking stick at. This is Austen’s rapier-sharp social commentary given full-blooded physical form, with more than just a nod to the novel, blended with memories of the still-delicious Colin Firth - “But, Mr Darcy! You’re bone dry! Like you haven’t just been for a swim in the lake!” - it’s a reminder of how fresh and funny the source material still is today, and how good our players really are at full-throttle, laugh-out-loud comedy. It’s delirious, hilarious fun. The girls are having a riot, and so are we.

Cast (rather confusingly):


Bea Holder: Mr Darcy and Lydia Bennet

Robyn Mirmak: Elizabeth Bennet and Effie

Molly Palmer: Clara, Mr Collins, Mr Wickham and Mary Bennet

Saoirse Reynolds: Tillie, Ms Bingley, Mr Bingley and Lady Catherine

Iris Roberts: Mrs Bennet and Flo

Emilie Rowley: Jane Bennet, Anne, Charlotte Lucas and Mrs Gardiner

Directed by Clare Crossley and Adam Rood


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