Plied and Proud of it

Plied and Proud of it

With a new parody on everyone’s favourite lovers, Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett, opening this week in Brisbane, Coral Drouyn looks at our penchant for “Taking the P**s”.

Some may call it the Tall Poppy Syndrome, but really it’s more than that. Take an icon…a film, a play, a book, and create a parody of it, send it up mercilessly with all the tropes and cliches you can find, and serve it to a hungry audience with all the aplomb of a French chef.

We’ve seen send-ups of Shakespeare, of TV classics like Friends and The Golden Girls, of schlock musicals like Xanadu, all hilarious, and it’s surprising that it has taken this long to get around to the most iconic love story since Romeo and Juliet, as portrayed by a cast of 5 multi-skilled actors, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which is a universal hit in print, small screen and the full big screen experience..

It’s because we love it so much (who hasn’t fantasised at some time about Mr Darcy?) that we are so eager to laugh at it and poke fun – all done lovingly.

The marvelous Woodward Productions have coupled with Fever (noted for their excellent concerts by candlelight) to bring us a new entertainment – aptly named Plied and Prejudice – which has more twists than a Chubby Checker Memorial party (ooh, that ages me!).

The premise is simple. One of the actors steadies their nerves with a few too many drinks and causes havoc with the story. It’s a night of merriment and drinks (and snacks) are available - here’s hoping the audience doesn’t contribute to the chaos but I suspect they might. Harking back to the old days of theatre restaurant, it’s an exciting venture adding even more to the night-life of Brisbane, which seems to have come of age completely since Covid and is now the equal of her larger sister cities interstate.

Creatives Penny Challen and Dash Kruck are well known in national and international theatre circles. Penny has gained great acclaim as a designer working with such stellar companies as The Royal Shakespeare Company, National Opera and West End productions as well as a slew of Australian productions.

Dash Kruck is the director of “Plied” and those of us who saw his great work as director on Friends! The Parody Musical will be salivating to see what he, and writer Matthew Semple do in deconstructing Ms Austen.

And then there is a stellar cast - just 5 actors playing 20 roles with quick changes galore which guarantees more mayhem along the way.

Bridgitte Freeme plays Elizabeth Bennet; Chloe Stojanovic plays Jane Bennet, Caroline Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Ward, Announcer; Juliette Milne plays Mrs Bennet, Butler, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr Gardiner; Stephen Hirst plays Fitzwilliam Darcy, Mary Bennet, Lydia Bennet, Kitty Bennet, Publisher; while Tom Pocilujko plays Mr Bingley, Mr Bennet, Mr Collins, Mr Wickham, Mrs Gardiner. Brooke McElligot and Gabriel Wighton are the swings.



Some of the names will be familiar to you. Others will be new, but all are committed to making Plied and Prejudice a great night out for locals and tourists alike. I can’t wait to see Stephen Hirst give us his best answer to both Colin Firth and Matthew McFadyen. It’s a great pity the production company doesn’t include the cast and creatives on its website for those of us who like to honour the talent that makes any theatrical production happen.

The show opens June 14th, 2024 and initially plays Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays. With two shows each day on the weekend.

Plied and Prejudice is located at The Shed, Dock C, Northshore Brisbane, 257 MacArthur Ave, Hamilton QLD

 Put it on your “to see” list.

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