Review: Pride & Prejudice (Sort Of) at Newcastle Theatre Royal
Earlier this week we were invited to the Newcastle Theatre Royal to see this not so classical take on the period drama Pride & Prejudice. It is a return to the city after Pride & Prejudices (Sort Of) crowd-pleasing run at Northern Stage in 2019 where it attracted critical acclaimed and five star reviews.
Now to be honest if it hadn’t of been for Illness of another writer, I wouldn’t have been attending as period dramas aren’t quite my thing but I agreed to cover it and I’m so happy I did. This isn’t your typical period drama, yes it has the love story but intertwined is fabulous humour, karaoke interludes and a fantastic cast of five who make this show what it is!
We must all know Pride & Prejudice to some extent but Isobel McArthur has taken it and turned it into a wonderfully entertaining production for theatre goers.
The show starts as the audience take their seats and we see the cast up in the seats dusting and cleaning, answering to the call of a bell to reflect the servants less often seen.
Once back onstage they introduce themselves as the hidden heroes of these period dramas. They then go on to play multiple roles per character brilliantly. The cast includes Leah Jamieson as Anne, Mary Bennet, Lydia Bennet and Mr Gardiner, Lucy Gray who reprises her role as Tillie, Charlotte Lucas, Charles Bingley and Miss Bingley, Emmy Stonelake as Effie and Elizabeth Bennet, Megan Louise Wilson as Clara, Jane Bennet, and Lady Catherine de Burgh, Dannie Harris as Flo, Mrs Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Laura Soper and Ruth Brotherton.
It would be wrong to point out one specific cast member out of these five talented women, as everyone provided an equally important contribution to the show with their roles which make the show what it is.
The staging is simple yet very effective, with a huge winding staircase to the left of stage providing a grand entrance, we switch from town balls to home residence with ease and a bit of imagination. We even get a horse on stage at one point.
The songs provide clever moments and play on the situation at hand. I see them more as clever quips, so don’t expect full blown songs but they bring a fantastic sense of anticipation and often humour.
This show has comic timing, a fantastic script and brilliant characterisation. I smiled pretty much from the start of this show to the end with a lot of laughs in between. Well done to all the cast involved and to all those hidden behind the scenes who go unnoticed.
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Review by Aaron Whittington (gifted tickets)
Photos: Matt Crockett
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