Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s novel, as adapted for the stage by Helen Jerome. Brisbane Arts Theatre. 8 March – 13 April, 2014.

This style of play gives Arts an extra edge over other Brisbane theatres: visually stunning, a big cast of talented actors, and a great night out at an affordable price.

Everything falls together here – set and costume designs, astute direction, effective lighting and sound support, gracious pace  ̶  making it a must-see for drama students: the British Empire/Regency period alive on stage, with actors who ‘live’ in their period costumes!


It’s churlish of me to focus on individuals in this uniformly sterling cast, but some played more memorable characters and rose to their challenge: Barry Haworth and Pauline Davies as Mr and Mrs Bennet respectively; Wes van Gelderen, the oft-maligned Mr Darcy; Katherine Alpert as Elizabeth (the author’s mouthpiece); Elodie Boal, frisky, impetuous little sister, Lydia; Linda Shapcott, bringing class and rank to heel in her Sherman tank version of Lady Catherine de Bourgh; Chelsea Indiana, eldest sister Jane and Trent Sellars, her eventual husband, Charles Bingley; Gabrielle Carbon, poor Charlotte Lucas lumbered with Joshua Parnell’s ostentatious chaplain, William Collins; and Phillipa Bowe, doubling as Lady Lucas and Mrs Gardiner …

I could go on, but I draw attention to Jane Austen’s acutely ironic observations of class manners in her era. Observe where we are today. Is our supposedly egalitarian community gliding towards Jane Austen’s era? Have we really avoided class structure?

Jay McKee

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