Tuesday, March 5

Pride and Prejudice *(*sort of) – Storyhouse Chester

Based on the original story by Jane Austin, Isobel McArthur has reimagined and rewritten an hilarious version of this well-known story, told through the eyes of the servants. The cast of five play every character through the story, changing costumes and characters on the go in this extremely perfectly choreographed play, with some character changes happening right there in front our of eyes.

Even before the play starts are we are involved in the story with the servants out in the audience cleaning and each time the bell rings, they shout ‘coming’ and off they go to their next ‘job.’

Our cast this evening are Lucy Gray, Dannie Harris, Leah Jamieson, Emmy Stonelake and Megan Louise Wilson and they have the audience almost crying with laughter with phenomenal comic timing and brilliant physical comedy. From playing a servant to switching to play Mr Darcy or switching from one Sister to playing another, the talent between this cast is outstanding.

Pride and Prejudice is originally set in the early 19th century, but this version mixes the early 19th century with modern day, with costumes correct for the time mixed with a karaoke machine and a bottle of Bailey’s to pick one of many, the audience are pleasantly surprised as to what is coming next. Occasionally the cast whip out a microphone and stunningly sing a song before snapping back into the acting side of telling the story, musically supervised by Michael John McCarthy with the cast playing musical instruments throughout.

Photo: Matt Crockett

The set, designed by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita, is wonderful, with a large staircase surrounding most of the stage, and walls and steps covered in books. The set pieces are wheeled on and off by the cast and this is where you see how incredibly well the show is choregraphed to keep the flow of the show and each piece and person being in exactly the correct place at the right time to set or remove a piece of set, a prop or even to take a costume from one place to another, it’s a joy to witness.

The language of the piece has been updated in parts which makes it even funnier but some of it is not for the fainthearted.

Lighting designed by Colin Grenfell played a huge role in this piece, with such a large static set piece, the lighting helped move the focus around the set and shift your eye to various places.

Directed by writer McArthur and Simon Harvey with comedy staging by Jos Houben, the audience are having the time of their lives with outbursts of laughter and many of an applause concluding with standing ovations throughout the theatre, Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) is definitely not one to be missed.

Running at Storyhouse theatre in Chester until Saturday 15th April 2023. Tickets available at https://www.storyhouse.com/event/pride-and-prejudice-sort-of

Reviewer: Damian Riverol

Reviewed: 11th April 2023

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★