Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Pride and Prejudice

Alex Rivers as Elizabeth Bennet and Edward Ferrow as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice Alex Rivers as Elizabeth Bennet and Edward Ferrow as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

In a tremendous stroke of good fortune for Londoners, the Scoop is hosting this production of Pride and Prejudice for three performances when audiences can see it for free (tonight and tomorrow night). It then goes on to tour around the country in the grounds of stately homes, where the beauty of the show is likely to be matched by its surroundings.

And what a glorious show this is. Treading that fine line between a comic adaptation and mockery of its multiple and much-loved television and film versions, this good-humoured romp through the story by a cast of five really is top quality. Only Alex Rivers’ Elizabeth Bennet is the one constant throughout the play. The rest of the cast gamely take on a variety of characters, transforming themselves with merely a bonnet and shawl and some frequently ludicrous accents.
Mrs Bennet and her brother have somehow become Welsh, while Wickham’s soldier friend Denny is suddenly a Cockney wide boy and Charlotte Lucas is now a perpetually tea-drinking simpleton. Yet, for all the quirkiness, the central love story is left intact, providing the perfect anchor to the proceedings.
There are some innovative touches such as the hilarious ball scenes in which the girls dance with the men while they simultaneously play guitars. Later a traditional reel descends into the routine from Whigfield’s Saturday Night. And demonstrating their impressive ad-libbing capabilities, they react to a kamikaze pigeon in one scene and later, when a flustered Emily Swatton talks of a Mr Winkham, Elizabeth winks at the audience.
As well as all the comedy, the Pantaloons players demonstrate a great warmth towards and understanding of the story and why so many people treasure it. Even men in skirts playing Mary and Kitty Bennet works perfectly somehow.


We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
A cleverly adapted, joyous comic makeover of the treasured story
Catherine Usher
Catherine Usher is a freelance writer, theatre critic and subeditor. She has been a journalist for more than 15 years and worked in The Stage's production department from 2007-15