Pride and Prejudice (Sort of): 'a colourful and dynamic romp'
- Craig Angus
- 5 July 2018
Updating the manners of the nineteenth century
How often are modern adaptations of classic literature this terrific? Rarely. Blood of the Young's Pride and Prejudice (Sort Of) is a riot: sharply written and performed with glee by a hugely talented all-female cast, who each take on multiple roles, perform musical instruments and get their resourceful hands on as many props as they can.
As an example of the Tron's approach to their annual Summer show, this production (led by the National Theatre of Scotland's company-in-residence, but produced by the Tron company) sets its stall out clearly. The bright and colourful poster sees the show's Elizabeth Bennett (Meghan Tyler) surrounded with balloons, confetti and a disco ball. A stuffy, serious evening out it is not; the tone is mischievous and playful - and while the plot is faithful to the original the journey is anything but. It's propelled by a series of karaoke performances, with song choices varying from the amusingly on-the-nose (Tyler drily directing Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain' at the most aloof of eligible bachelors, Mr Darcy) to the understated (a disarming performance of Pulp's gorgeous 'Something Changed').
The music is prominent and the only downside of that is that a terrifically funny script (penned by Isobel McArthur, who doubles as Mrs Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy), is overshadowed. The awkwardness of Charles Bingley's courtship of Jane is painfully real. The book's sarcastic patriarch Mr Bennett is seen only as an armchair - and never heard - leading to some delightfully pithy asides. There's depth to the writing too; the insufferable Mr Collins (a show-stealing turn from Tori Burgess) is mined for all the boredom he can possibly induce, but McArthur uses the obvious comedy of his sub-plot to juxtapose a well judged moment of melancholy, softly pointing at the bleak reality of marriage for so many - societal expectations overriding love - a theme not strictly confined to Austen's lifetime by any stretch.
Far from a standard night at the theatre, Pride and Prejudice (Sort Of) is a hell of a night out; a colourful and dynamic romp that'll etch grins onto faces.
Tron, Glasgow until Sat 14 July.