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Saturday 23 September 2017

A Little Bit Of Jane Austen

This morning MD and I pace Daughter around Forest Rec parkrun in 36 minutes. MD is delighted that I don’t make him do it in 25 while L puts a brave face on being on the sidelines but she will probably head off to drown her sorrows in Waterstone's later.

After breakfast at Homemade, I head off to the match where Derby draw with Birmingham.

In the evening we’re all (L, Daughter and me) at Pride and Prejudice which is being staged at Nottingham Playhouse. Yes, you heard correctly.

There is however a cunning difference here. This version is by comedian Sara Pascoe who is basically having a bit of a laugh with Jane Austen’s esteemed novel and questioning the modern day relevance of it.

This is a play for people like me who think oh no, not another costume drama of (insert populist play here). Ok, so this is a populist play but done with a difference, with satire and it’s not subtle either. For starters the whole thing is set in a giant birdcage.

The story is, mostly, an abridged version of the traditional one e.g. there are still five daughters to be married off and boy are they obsessed with finding a husband. Pascoe however questions this obsession and many other aspects of the story both within the main play and also by frequently switching the action to the present. Where discussions about the play take play in a school, the actors explore their own roles in rehearsals and there are two TV producers editing their own version while having their own very modern relationship, illicitly.

There are also songs from Emmy the Great in which the Bennet sisters plead with us not to judge them. As if.

The whole thing might upset the purists of course, hopefully, but I thought it was very clever, very well done, well acted and above all rather funny.

(Saturday 23rd September)

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