You’re so vain, you probably think this review is about… There’s no denying that Jane Austen is one of the most famous novelists in England. And whether you’ve read the book or not you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Pride and Prejudice. The iconic book has been adapted on tv and there are many different stage productions. But I can guarantee you won’t have seen anything as unique as Isobel McArthur’s retelling of the classic love story. Pride and Prejudice (*Sort Of) is currently showing at The Criterion Theatre in the West End and has just had it’s booking period extended.
Pride and Prejudice (*Sort Of) is told from the perspective of five young female servants. The servants narrate the novel whilst taking on each character role and additionally singing and playing instruments too. It’s not just men and money that’s being fought over in this play, it’s the microphones too. Not only does Isobel use karaoke to entertain the audience but she does it with pop classics. Some of the songs included are Young Hearts Run Free, I Got You Babe and You’re So Vain.
The cast consists of Tori Burgess, Christina Gordon, Hannah Jarrett-Scott, Meghan Tyler, and writer Isobel McArthur. The impressive quintet may well be the most hardworking cast as they do double-quick costume changes, played instruments, and took on each character. Isobel doubled up as the uptight and calculating Mrs Bennett and disdainful and condescending Mr Darcy. Meghan Tyler took on the role of Elizabeth Bennett and was the perfect mix of sarcastic, strong, and funny.
Christina Gordon plays the hopeless romantic Jane, the dignified but berating Lady Catherine and the slimy George Wickham. The over-the-top costume and eccentric entrance of Lady Catherine had the audience cracking up. And talking of hysterical, I must give it up to Hannah Jarrett-Scott who was outstanding in her roles. She played Charlotte Lucas, Charles Bingley and his snobby sister Carole Bingley and the audience adored her. All of her mannerisms were perfect, and I was willing her characters to be on stage more, especially Caroline Bingley.
Last but by no means least, Tori Burgess played the parts of Mary and Lydia Bennett, and Mr Collins. It felt like Tori had the most fun with her characters with the drunk and lovesick Lydia and overlooked Mary. Mary is a budding performer but is repeatedly stopped by her family, cutting her off with a sharp “You’re too good”. As you can imagine the audience were on tenterhooks waiting for Mary to grab a microphone and finally break into song.
Pride And Prejudice (*Sort Of) is not the dignified tale you would expect from a Jane Austen adaptation. Instead, it’s a profanity filled comedy and musical that brings joy and humour to their audience. The actors keep the audience engaged and entertained and it makes for a great night out. After all the struggles of the past 18 months this is the perfect show to book to put a smile on your face. It’s also very affordable with tickets priced between £9.50 and £59.50 so go and book your ticket now.
Photo Credit: Matt Crockett