Pride and Prejudice (*sort of) at Bristol Old Vic

BEHIND every great story, there are the facilitators whose work is both indispensible and invisible.

That’s the idea behind Isobel McArthur’s brilliant reworking of Jane Austen’s classic. If you have ever gathered a group of friends, layed out all your clothes and performed a play, swapping characters as the script demands, you’ll get the picture.

These are Austen’s maids and servants, taking on the roles of their employers and giving their own irreverent and affectionate commentary on the action. And because singing is one of their pleasures, there’s a wonderful pop soundtrack with its own witty  interventions. The whole thing is a joy.

Six instrumentalists, singers, dancers and actors perform 21 roles, strapping a bit of colourful costume (including the magnificent reds of Lady Catherine de Bourgh) round the plain linen servant attire.

The notably diverse Bristol Old Vic audience surprisingly “did a Bath and Salisbury” every time someone said “fuck” – greeted with whoops and cheers and gasps.  I guess eventually we will get over it!

This hugely enjoyable romp is on until 29th September. It’s just the thing to take you out of the misery and mayhem of politics and parliament.


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