Friday, September 22

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel – Underbelly Bistro Square

Witty, outrageous and almost Austin, Austentatious is a hit!

Back from its successful run on the West End Austentatious brings you a Jane Austin novel like you’ve never seen before (literally! they make the whole thing up as they go along). With an excellent cast featuring Rachel Parris, Graham Dickson, Amy Cooke-Hodgson, Lauren Shearing, Charlotte Gittins, Daniel Nils Roberts, Joseph Morpurgo and Cariad Lloyd, these comedy masters are sure to put on a good show.

As with most improvised performances at this fringe, the plot it created using audience suggestion, so come prepared with your best Jane Austin novel name suggestions. I’m afraid our selected one of the day was a little long for me to remember but what ensued was a lot of talk of trysting (if you know what I mean) , door kicking and polishing of urns.

Surprisingly the who performance felt pre-written being rather smoothly put together with a clear beginning middle and dramatic end, the whole thing is improvised daily so obviously this is not the case but a credit to the strong performance and quick thinking of the cast.  Everyone seemingly knew their place in the show and demonstrated wonderful wit and comedic timing.

The biggest challenge for the cast is putting together a comic show on the spot whilst also maintaining the regency air of it, something that could have been done lack luster with simply the costumes and set. Instead the team manage to keep the production within the familiar bounds of a Jane Austin novel even in its absurdity, using: location, regency social outlooks and of course the “strong willed female falls in love with the problematic and misunderstood male protagonist” trope. All in all this is a very strong production.

Catch Austentatious from 7th August until 13th August (excluding 8th) at 13:30 at Underbelly Bistro Square, McEwan Hall. Buy tickets at

Reviewer: Beth Eltringham

Reviewed: 9th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.