Review: Mansfield Park, By Jane Austen, adapted by Tim Luscombe, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: © Keith Mindham Photography
An impoverished young girl comes to an English country house to stay with her more genteel relations, add to the mix a couple of neighbours with independent means, a somewhat superior aunt and a couple of gentlemen with prospects and the scene is set for Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.
Fast paced from the outset, this production by the Theatre Royal is lively throughout and peppered with plenty of comedy. Fanny Price is the sweet-natured girl swept into a more sophisticated life where the marriage prospects of genteel, but not quite aristocratic, young women is the overriding subject of intrigue.
There’s quality acting in this play from start to finish and for Austen fans it is a treat. The costumes are lovely – plenty of empire line dresses for the girls and breeches for the boys – the story is well told.
Fanny’s journey as she pines for her family, observes the frivolous behaviour of those around her, spurns the unwanted attentions of Henry Crawford - despite his fortune – yet gets the right man in the end, is an uplifting one.
Touching on themes of class, the role and plight of women, and the complex rules of courtship of the day, this version of Mansfield Park is an entertaining and engaging play.
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An enjoyable night out and a triumph for The Theatre Royal’s creative team.
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