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Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of)

30th May 2023 - 3rd June 2023

 

★★★★★
THE FIVE STAR COMEDY SENSATION

OLIVIER AWARDS 2022 BEST COMEDY

DIRECT FROM THE WEST END 

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)

By Isobel McArthur after Jane Austen
Direct from its triumph in the West End where it won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy, Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) is a unique and audacious retelling of Jane Austen’s most iconic love story.

Men, money and microphones will be fought over in this irreverent but affectionate adaptation where the stakes couldn’t be higher when it comes to romance. This “smart, laugh out loud funny” (Daily Telegraph) show features a string of pop classics including Young Hearts Run Free, Will You Love Me Tomorrow and You’re So VainIt’s the 1800s.  It’s party time.  Let the ruthless matchmaking begin.

‘Deserves the standing ovations it’s getting nightly’ Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph

‘Completely faithful to the book, it’s also a raucously irreverent romp’ Patrick Marmion, Daily Mail

‘Riotously funny…gloriously entertaining…frankly sensational’ David Benedict, Variety

‘Hilarity, romance, madness and utter theatrical joy. The whole house rose to its feet and cheered and cheered’ Stephen Fry

Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes (including interval)

 

Photo credit: Mihaela Bodlovic

Details

Start:
30th May 2023
End:
3rd June 2023
Event Categories:
, ,

Venue

Festival Theatre
Grange Road
Malvern, WR14 3HB

Other

Price:
Tuesday Evening and Wednesday Matinee: £36.50, £32.50, £29.50, £26.50 & £23.50
Wednesday to Thursday Evening & Saturday Matinee: £42.50, £38.50, £33.50, £30, £26.50
Friday and Saturday Evening: £44.50, £41.50, £36.50, £33.50, £30
Members discounts apply
Prices include 12% booking fee
Show Times:
Tuesday 30th May to Saturday 3rd June
Evenings at 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm

Event Reviews

  • Nicole

    Excellent show - what a talented cast! Great evening out

    So brilliant !!!

  • Sam

    Amazing !!! It was so funny in the interval I book 2 tickets for the next night …. Funniest show I’ve seen in ages … well done ladies … girl power xxx

  • What's on Worcestershire - Sue Hull

    Pride And Prejudice (sort of) is a feisty and fabulously funny retelling of one of the best-known romances ever written. Having won the 2022 Olivier Award for Best Comedy whilst showing in the West End, the production is currently enjoying its second successful UK tour.

    Faithful to the original Jane Austin plot, the show recounts the trials and tribulations of the five Bennet sisters, who need to marry. The patriarchal restrictions of the Regency era dictate that only a male can inherit, which would leave the siblings and their somewhat neurotic mother homeless and destitute upon their father’s death...

    This imaginative, witty and exhilarating show sees the entire cast of characters played by just five women. The story is retold via the observations of servants of the featured families, rather than through the Bennet sisters and their male counterparts. Overlooked and undervalued, the servants interject with views and opinions throughout the show, breaking the fourth wall by interacting directly with the audience. changing costumes at superspeed and using a variety of dialects to great effect.

    Although not a musical, the show does feature a selection of contemporary karaoke-style pop favourites, performed by the actors using handheld microphones. Songs such as Holding Out For A Hero, Young Hearts Run Free and Lady In Red fit cleverly into the story and are well performed by the cast. The actors also play a number of different instruments throughout the performance, including the piano, accordion, trumpet, saxophone and xylophone. The use of music is upbeat and funny, adding yet another dimension of playful silliness to the show.

    Nobody plays Mr Bennet. His character is depicted by an armchair with its back to the audience, a floating newspaper and pipe smoke.

    Unlike the other actors, all of whom play a variety of roles, Emmy Stonelake stays in the part of the headstrong and opinionated Elizabeth Bennet for most of the performance. Her rendition of You’re So Vain, directed towards Mr Darcy (masterfully played by Dannie Harris), is one of the show’s many highlights.
    The whole cast, which also includes Lucy Gray, Leah Jamieson and Megan Louise Wilson, are magnificent. Their energy is tremendous, comic timing perfect, and characterisations simply sensational. The cast literally burst onto the stage at the beginning of the show and don’t let the pace drop even for a second.

    A rude, riotous and rip-roaring comedy from start to finish, Pride And Prejudice (sort of) last night had its audience (including me) laughing out loud way too many times to remember. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in heading for home with a smile on my face.

  • Curtain Call Reviews

    Winning an Olivier Award in 2022 for ‘Best Comedy’, Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) gives us an hilarious insight to one of most famous Jane Austen’s novels set in the 1800’s but brought right up to date with some familiar pop tunes.

    The cast of 5 very talented performers descend into the auditorium ahead of the official start of the show in their ‘servant’ clothing and yellow marigold gloves polishing the seats and shouting to each other across the room about the various cleaning tasks ahead of them. Therein starts what is a very enjoyable night.

    Firstly, I must make mention of the performers, Lucy Gray, Dannie Harris, Leah Jamieson, Emmy Stonelake and Megan Louise Wilson who work so incredibly hard, whilst remaining on stage pretty much all the way through this 2-hour 35-minute show (including interval). We are introduced to them to the soundtrack of the Elvis Costello classic ‘Every Day I Write the Book’ sung through the aid of a portable karaoke machine and handheld microphones which feature heavily bringing us some bizarre, but great musical choices that are slotted in throughout the show. The songs of Bonnie Tyler and Candi Staton never really made me think of Jane Austen before, but after seeing the show I have different thoughts!

    Under the Direction of Isobel McArthur and Simon Harvey, the show takes us inside the novel through the eyes of the servants who wait hand and foot on the upper classes. Each performer takes on many roles and we meet Fitzwilliam Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett and Lady Catherine de Bourgh (which of course sounds eerily similar to Chris De Burgh…..you’ve guessed which song ensued!) in their home town of Meryton. The story follows the journey of Mrs Bennett who needs to marry off her daughters with many amusing plot twists and general silliness.

    Designer Ana Inés Jabares-Pita really encapsulates the era with period costumes, aswell as the set which includes a sweeping staircase adorned with wallpaper covered in books, no doubt a nod to Jane Austen and the highly successful author she was. There were many additions of props that seemed completely out of place, such as a Tesco carrier bag, a box of Kelloggs Frosties and a Vienetta ice-cream that brought many laughs from the audience at how bonkers it was. I felt an air of ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ with the acting style and use of props, doors that don’t quite close properly and almost a slight ‘slapstick’ comedy element.

    Each scene of the show was filled with humour and as I mentioned earlier some fantastic tunes that take you by surprise, such as the opening of Act 2 with ‘Holding Out For a Hero’ and the closing of the show with ‘Young Hearts Run Free’.

    This show no doubt lives up to its Olivier Award with an incredible cast of extremely talented performers and unsurprisingly after it’s very successful tour will be heading back into the West End. This all-female affectionate nod to Jane Austen, or as the wheelie bin displayed ‘Jane Aust-Bin’ (you had to be there…or go see the show!), is well worth a visit for an evening of hilarity and fun.

  • View from the Stalls - Pete Philips

    You "sort of" know that the production you are about to see is going to be somewhat different because not only does "Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of)" have those two words in the title but also, before the show starts, the cast of five are out and about in the auditorium in their white smocks dusting the place, fluffing the seat cushions and discussing their recycling habits. For these are indeed the servants of the household, at the very bottom of such a male class-led society (even Austen had to publish her novels anonymously) and it is they who will be taking us through the story of the Bennet family in a style which Jane Austen could never have imagined... And as servants, they make it clear that they are the backbone of any household, all-knowing all-seeing…

    As the show's writer Isobel McArthur says, the book is "full of hilarious, witty and incisive satire". So not just starchy women in bonnets then, as we will discover…

    There are, of course, menfolk in Austen's story of how to get your daughters married into the "right" family to avoid becoming destitute, notably Fitzwilliam Darcy, and these too are played by the all-female cast as they switch from servants to sisters to the men in their lives. Except for Mr Bennett who we get to "see" only from behind the chair where he is constantly reading his newspaper.

    With a knowing nod to the famous TV adaptation, there is a comment about Darcy looking very dry when he appears at one point. After a confused look, the subsequent comment about him having just emerged from a lake had the audience roar with laughter. That was one of many comic moments which are scattered throughout this version of the classic romcom.

    The other main novelty was that of music. Not the quiet chamber music you might expect in such a situation but classic pop and rock tunes which fitted the moment perfectly such as Carly Simon's You're So Vain whilst Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s entrance in glorious bright red attire is accompanied by a rendition of Chris de Burgh’s Lady in Red. All good, fun stuff bringing an unexpected taste of karaoke and even slapstick to Austen.

    The show went though many rewrites before McArthur finally plumped for this Upstairs Downstairs version. Had this not been the case, we might conceivably have been viewing a production which was narrated entirely by a horse (which, incidentally, also provided one of the comedic sketches in the show) - now that would have been really weird!

  • Betty

    Wasn't sure what to expect ... absolutely loved it. Laugh out loud funny. Thank you ladies for an amazing show.

  • Peter

    Absolutely fabulous performance by all the girls and a most enjoyable evening. My wife was a bit apprehensive before we went, as we had just seen the play on T.V. but listening to her laughing throughout the performance, I knew all her fears were for nothing.

  • Anthony

    An amazing performance that will stay with me for quite some time. A real cultural treat that deserves all the high praise it has received. A standing ovation does not do it justice. Thank you for a fabulous and entertaining performance.


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