A fresh perspective on Jane Austen’s adaptation, Persuasion with WAP, Frank Ocean and a foam party. This production follows Anne and her desperate sisters on their conquest for love but as their 30s approach, they worry about compatibility and finding a match that will ensure a long and easy life. However, as with classical romance there is always one who suffers in the quest for true connection, Anne (Sasha Frost) and her desperate love for Captain Wentworth (Fred Fergus) are knocked together like conkers as they try to rekindle a love they once had.
We are very much in an age of reflection and in result, seeing the return of a lot of classical texts. It’s refreshing more so to be seeing new interpretations and a wittier perspective on the structures we enforced upon ourselves. It speaks to our past with humour and lack of judgement, just a nod on who we were and what we are becoming.
The societal pressure of finding our footing and what it means to not follow the classical path that our parents may have hoped we’d follow is interesting, as with all Austen’s novels- she speaks truthfully to what a genuine family dynamic may have looked like back then. This doesn’t go amiss in this production also, the cast are powerful and energetic in creating the world around them which is only further excelled by the creative team in their distinct vision. A big applause to the director Jeff James for his modern approach on this humorous text.
The staging was very powerful, picturesque and grand using neon to split up the revolving stage which created the best dance floor and cliff for Anne to catapult her enemies off. Fantastic job to Alex Lowde.
Overall, this piece felt joyful for those on stage and for the audience, from the antagonising creepy sisters Louisa and Henrietta, played brilliantly by Matilda Bailes and Caroline Moroney to the fantastic comedy duo whose marriage is as disruptive but deeply connected as anyone who has ever loved anyone more than themselves know, played by the fantastic Helen Cripps and Dorian Simpson.
A lovely piece to watch with all the right moments and thank god WAP made it into theatre. Playing until the 19th March, https://rosetheatre.org/whats-on/persuasion and also at Alexandra Palace from the 7th – 30th April, https://www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/persuasion-2/
Reviewer: Alice Rose
Reviewed: 4th March 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★