and I saw Theatre@First
’s Pride and Prejudice
last night at the Somerville Theatre, and it was spectacular. Go see it if you possibly can. The sheer number of jaw-droppingly outstanding performances was unbelievable. J. Deschene’s Lady Catherine de Bourgh got spontaneous, sustained applause as she flounced off the set after one scene, which she richly deserved. Doug Miller’s Mr. Bennet had a little mime show at one point where he had the audience in stitches without speaking an audible word. Brian Edgar’s conniving vicar Mr. Collins was quite spectacular — you wanted to take a shower after he left the stage. And those were just a few of the highlights; this large show was just chock full of spectacular performances.
The sets and scene-changes were great, too. The sets were very spare, just some furniture and moving panels hinting at walls. And the scene changes happened around the performers, generally as they were delivering lines. You might think that would be distracting, but it wasn’t at all, instead, it made the show flow smoothly, and I think it was an inspired choice.
The sound, the lighting, the costumes, the makeup all were great. But honestly, it was hard to notice them when I was busy being bowled over by the acting.
This was an original adaptation for the stage by director Elizabeth Hunter, and the adaptation itself was an incredible accomplishment. I’d have to go back to the book to figure out what plot points got cut, but the play was true to my memory of the book.
There are three more performances: tonight and next Friday at 8pm, and a matinee next Saturday the 31st at 2pm. Here’s ticket info.
If you possibly can, you must go see this play.