Meet the Bennet Sisters, but not as you know them…
Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort Of) is a revolutionary comedy bringing to life Jane Austen’s beloved classic in a whole new way, blending irreverent humour, feminist sensibilities and an all-female cast.
Watch the trailer for this hilarious show or scroll down to find a cheeky insight into Olivier Award-winning playwright Isobel McArthur’s creative process.Book Now
Isobel McArthur spills the beans on creating this farcical comedy
Austen’s original tale is so well loved as a book, television series and film, can you give us an insight into what makes this version of Pride and Prejudice, sort of?
Isobel: I suppose what I was aware of when watching many of the other adaptations of this novel was a certain po-facedness which has taken hold over the past two-hundred years. For whatever reason the humour of Austen’s novel has repeatedly been side-lined in the interest of… I don’t know – something so reverent that it’s become positively solemn. The original book is a riot. So, this adaptation – told by the servants, using karaoke – is in the spirit of Austen herself and the way she writes. It’s funny, feminist and front footed.
Was there a favourite character to write when you were developing the show? What made them so enjoyable to tap into?
Isobel: Frankly, there isn’t a dud in this book. Austen is as incisive an observer of human nature as I have ever come across in literature or drama. Although the puzzle of the multi-rolling in this show (we have a cast of just 5) was a hell of a nut to crack at my desk, Austen’s dialogue is such a gift to the playwright. Right enough, it is important to modernise, anachronise, adjust – so that a contemporary audience know at all times what it being said and what is happening – but, truly, you could write five cracking plays based on this novel without ever repeating yourself. It’s gold dust, this stuff.
Do you have to be an Austen afficionado to enjoy the show?
Isobel: Not at all. You don’t need to know a single thing about Jane Austen or her books. In fact – please don’t go looking up a synopsis. Theatre should not require homework. If you really like it, you can always go and read the novel afterwards.
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