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Mr Darcy did not disappoint in Brum's Pride and Prejudice
1:15pm Wednesday 4th July 2012 in Theatre
Like most women in the audience I was anxiously waiting for Mr Darcy to grace the stage and he certainly did not disappoint, writes Esther Msimanga.
When he stepped on stage you could literally feel women admire him and when he began performing, one could not help but fall madly in love with his arrogance and his handsome boyish good looks.
He was certainly a true contender to that of Colin Firth in the film adaptation.
The stage was very minimalistic as to be expected in a small theatre and it had to rely on symbolism. The Bennets' household only had two chairs and their children were either on the floor or standing however the Bingley's estate always had more chairs/seats than needed by its occupants; this may have been to show a contrast between the middle class and upper class. Despite the small stage instead of using modern technology; there was an orchestra which truly evoked early 19th Century. The most interesting aspect of the production was the screen behind the stage which was adapted to give the audience insight and background into the plot.
The role of Mr Collins played by Lee Davies used the screen to narrate the history between his family and the Bennets'; meanwhile on stage Mrs Bennet was making it known to the audience of her fears of losing their home should misfortune befall Mr Bennet. When the characters on stage were the recipient of letters; the sender would be behind the screen stating the contents of the letter.
Mrs Bennets role played by Julie Lloyd was very comical and very engaging. Lloyd and Mrs Bennet became one entity as though Austen had written the role especially for her.
Allan Bulls' Mr Bennet had a rather dry sense of humour which complimented that of Lloyd.
Lee Davies adapted his character very well; he was very pompous, annoying and oblivious to ridicule.
His comical factor was intensified by his wife Lindsay Mason's Charlotte Lucas clear discomfort and mortification of Collins' behaviour.
Lloyd and Davies's characters were well received by the audience and all their scenes were met with laughter.
Susan Linch's Lady Catherine De Bourgh and Taylor Howson's Caroline Bingley were the epitome of upper class.
Their characters were very pompous, poised and felt entitled to their desires. You couldn't fault their performance; it was graceful.
Romance was the core of the plot; the most captivating love story being that of Elizabeth Bennet played by Hannah Parker and Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy played by Matthew Hopkins; the animosity and tension between the two characters was very strong however in the same breathe their chemistry was undeniable. Hopkins was blinded by pride and Parker blinded by the charms of John Tsopanis's George Wickham. As an audience you saw and felt the love story develop and engulf; their first kiss had the audience applauding and whistling.
The most romantic proposal however was that of David Gray's Charles Bingley and Laura Poyner's Jane Bennet because of the scenery in the background, the white fence with greenery. When Gray went down on his knees, the audience sighed; it was wonderfully amorous.
The adaptation was a true ensemble; the only rather bold and confusing aspect was that of David Jackson's Colonel Fitzwilliam being of black descent howbeit he portrayed his character very well.
Every performer gave an impressive input towards the success of the play.
Value: Worth every penny if not more!!!
Pride and Prejudice is currently being performed at the Crescent theatre, until July 7. Entry £10