Produced by Regent’s Park Theatre, Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice has been recreated for stage and is currently touring the UK. Luckily for us, this week it’s in Liverpool, so we went along to check it out.
The classic story of the Bennet sisters’ quest for love, the despair of their father Mr Bennet and the unsuspecting romance that strikes has been winning people over for almost two centuries. In this wonderful stage version, the producers did a great job of condensing the story into a performance and particularly made use of the rotating stage to do so. The staging, although simple, allowed scenes to change quickly and kept the pace of the play moving. The framework was utilised beautifully to create romantic sequences such as the interaction between Elizabeth Bennet and George Wickham.
One of the best things about this production is undoubtedly the casting. I found that the role of Elizabeth Bennet, played by Tafline Steen, was injected with new life and modernism through her comical glances and wonderfully sarcastic undertone. The standout performance for me however has to be that of Mrs Bennet. Remember Perpetua from Bridget Jones’ Diary? She stars as the daughters’ emotional and irrational mother, and is as fantastic as ever. The dynamic (or lack of it) between her and Matthew Kelly, who plays Mr Bennet, was a joy and as always it is fantastic to see well-known names in theatre perform live.
Although the play is quite long, and contains a lot of fast (and not particularly modern) dialogue, the effect is simple; it’s hard not to be swept up in the romance of it all, and I couldn’t believe how quickly the performance seemed to be over. For any romantics, any fans of English novels and anyone who has seen a film version, or read the book; the Regent’s Park Theatre adaptation is an absolute TREAT.
If you would still like to see the play, £5 LJMU tickets are available for tomorrow’s matinee performance. To get your tickets, contact the Box Office on 0151 709 4776 or pop in to see them on Williamson Square from 11am tomorrow. All you’ll need is your student card to show you’re at LJMU and soon you’ll be swooning away!
Tickets are also available for the evening performances at normal price – if you would like to see the show again contact the Box Office or book online.
Review by Alexandra Flynn (Student Opportunities Officer)