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Sharp dialogue gives Theatre Royal's Pride and Prejudice plenty of intelligence and wit

PUBLISHED: 12:52 29 August 2019

The ball at Netherfield in Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's new production of Pride and Prejudice  Photo:Tony Kelly

The ball at Netherfield in Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's new production of Pride and Prejudice Photo:Tony Kelly

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Review: Pride & Prejudice, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds until September 7

George Banks and Sophia Capasso as Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's new production of Pride and Prejudice  Photo:Tony KellyGeorge Banks and Sophia Capasso as Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's new production of Pride and Prejudice Photo:Tony Kelly

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good production of Pride & Prejudice must capture not only the elegance and era of Jane Austen, but also the intelligence and wit.

Director Marcus Romer and his talented cast have managed to do all of that and more in the clever new adaptation by Simon Reade currently being performed at the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds.

This skilfully abridged version of the classic romance is fast paced, beautifully presented and thoroughly entertaining, keeping the drama high and the dialogue sharp. Throw in the occasional comedic entrance stage left and they have a perfectly balanced play.

Joanna Brookes as Mrs Bennet and her daughters in Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's new production of Pride and Prejudice  Photo:Tony KellyJoanna Brookes as Mrs Bennet and her daughters in Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's new production of Pride and Prejudice Photo:Tony Kelly

Of course, this story demands a strong portrayal of Mr Darcy and George Banks is great casting - suitably arrogant and dashing while wearing the side burns rather well. Other stand out performances include the wonderfully loud Joanna Brookes as Mrs Bennet, the perfectly annoying Chelsie Lockwood as Lydia and the positively delightful George Howarth as Mr Bingley.

Star of the show, however, is undoubtedly Chris Hannon as Mr Collins. His physical performance, his delivery and his impeccable comic timing are perfect for the character, who is both objectionable and hilarious in equal measure. He is a joy to watch.

The finishing touches are provided by beautiful costumes, an occasional innuendo and carefully choreographed set changes which are performed by uniformed officers who close the doors in unison after a gentlemanly nod. Very Jane Austen indeed.

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