Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of)

Experience a fresh new take on Jane Austen in Isobel McArthur’s irreverent but affectionate adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Sophia Savage reports.

Isobel McArthur’s audacious retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is set to begin an open ended run at London’s Criterion Theatre in early November 2021. An ‘irreverent but affectionate adaptation of Austen’s classic work’, Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) won rave reviews during its successful stint at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre.

The story of Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of)

The story is told from the viewpoint of five female servants working in the household of the Bennett family.  The quintet not only snag all the best lines, but also play every other character as well as singing and playing instruments.

Through these exuberant and fun loving young ladies, the audience are introduced to the Bennett family and their five daughters. Desperate to secure rich and respectable husbands for their daughters, the Bennett parents scheme and plot while their daughters struggle to come to terms with the challenges of courting in the Regency Period.

“Six young women have a story to tell” says the website for the musical. “You might have seen them, emptying the chamber pots, and sweeping ash from the grate; the overlooked and the undervalued making sure those above stairs find their happy ending. Of course, they’ve always been running the show – after all ‘You can’t have a whirlwind romance without clean bedding’ – but tonight, the servants are also playing every part”.

The music

Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) is enlivened by a soundtrack which draws on 200 years of pop history and featured versions of a variety of pop classics, including I Got You Babe, You’re So Vain and Will You Love Me Tomorrow.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The creative team behind Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of)

 The musical reunites the cast of the original Tron theatre production, with writer McArthur playing Darcy & Mrs Bennet, Tori Burgess (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) appearing as Mr Collins and Christina Gordon (Glory on Earth) playing Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Hannah Jarrett-Scott (The Taming of the Shrew) and Meghan Tyler (A Streetcar Named Desire) also feature as Charlotte and Lizzie Bennet respectively. Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) is directed by McArthur and Simon Harvey, with set-design by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita and lighting by Colin Grenfell.

The production premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018. McArthur’s adaptation of the famous novel was generally well received with critics applauding the show’s clever take on Austen and its pleasant, heart-warming tone. The Telegraph were certainly smitten, describing the musical as “as richly layered as a wedding cake” while Mark Fisher from The Guardian applauded the production’s ‘surprisingly faithful rendering of a book they love’ while describing the show as a “have-your-cake-and-eat-it adaptation in which the gags are plentiful even while the stakes are high”.

Winter schedule

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) opens at the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End on the 2nd of November 2021. Previews begin on the 15th of October 2021 with the musical currently booking until the 14th of February 2022. More information about the production can be found here.

Christmas schedule

Monday 20 December                   No performance

Tuesday 21 December                   7.30pm

Wednesday 22 December           7.30pm

Thursday 23 December                 3pm & 7.30pm

Friday 24 December                       3pm

Saturday 25 December                  No performance

Sunday 26 December                     2.30pm & 7pm

Monday 27 December                   No performance

Tuesday 28 December                   7.30pm

Wednesday 29 December           3pm & 7.30pm

Thursday 30 December                 7.30pm

Friday 31 December                       3pm

Saturday 1 January                          3pm & 7.30pm

Sunday 2 January                             2.30pm & 7pm

For information on other great musicals in London, please click here.

-London's Best Events-
What: musical
When: 15 Oct 21
Where: Piccadilly Circus