The sacred cow has been well and truly milked! Forget plodding through the book for exam-laden themes, forget lavish poke-bonnet films and dramas, forget worthy sociological analysis.
Isobel McArthur and Blood of Young have taken Jane Austen and shaken her thoroughly, from her frilly knickers to her ruffled petticoats.
Add in well sung, well known popular music, industrial strength expletives, lashings of booze and waves of wit – this Pride and Prejudice will have you roaring with laughter and grinning from ear to there.
The six women cast are brilliant, in a plethora of quick change roles that sweep along in non stop action. Tori Burgess, Felixe Forde, Christina Gordon, Hannah Jarrett-Scott, Isobel McArthur and Meghan Tyler are all magnificent in their diversity.
Tyler as Elizabeth brings an Irish feistiness to the role that underpins her mouthy character, while Jarrett-Scott convinces equally as the douce Charlotte and the over-bearing Miss Bingley. Gordon does a very mean and over the top Lady Catherine, resplendent in her wide skirts, huge hat and sunglasses. No wet shirt for Dâ€™Arcy, alas, just a brooding portrayal by McArthur, when sheâ€™s not having hysterics as Mrs Bennett. Mr Bennett also appears on stage – not so much a stuffed shirt as a stuffed armchair.
This is an excellent co-production from The Tron Theatre, Blood of Young and The Royal Lyceum with a rollicking script by McArthur and inspired direction by Paul Brotherston.
It starts and ends with a below stairs look at the characters, the servantsâ€™ eye view of the foibles of the refined, the genteel, and the socially aspiring. That six women should depend on a man, a stuffed armchair, for their wellbeing is social comment enough, quite in the spirit of Miss Austen. She would have loved this portrayal of her work, a grand opening to the Lyceumâ€™s spring season.
Royal Lyceum Theatre until February 15th.