On 2-4 February 2018, we had sixteen talented actors perform Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in Theaterhuis de Berenkuil. Adapted and directed by Alexandra Elroy.
Pride and Prejudice is an English love story from the Regency era. It centers around the Bennets; a well-to-do family with five daughters, that is pressured by the fact that women cannot inherit the family estate.
Mrs Bennet is desperate to marry her daughters off to rich gentlemen and secure their future, but the girls are more focused on other things. Elizabeth, especially, is adamant that her partner should be intelligent, kind, and someone she can fall in love with.
Instead, she is confronted with Mr Darcy – a high-class gentleman who is very clear that he does not appreciate her lower rank, Mr Collins – a cousin whose pompous and presumptuous behavior makes her sick, and Mr Wickham – a roguish and charming military man with a sense of danger about him.
Her sisters, in the meantime, are also plagued by unrequited crushes, eligible men with meddling sisters and adolescent urges.
How will Elizabeth and her sisters survive in a society that is fraught with the risk of scandal? Will pride and prejudice obstruct their chances of happiness?
This version of the classic romantic novel is a condensed production of less than two hours long. It aims to brings the story’s vibe, charm and wit to life by telling it through its own interpretation.
English Theatre Utrecht brings the costume drama atmosphere to life with a real Regency era feel, while adapting the classic language and more convoluted parts of the story. The result is an accessible production that welcomes a laugh, without shying away from some more dramatic moments.
An interesting addition to the original story is a short home play that the younger Bennet sisters perform around the play’s halfway mark.
It is a remake of a short mini-play that Jane Austen herself wrote when she was little, as humorous home entertainment. This excerpt from her Juvenilia shows a whimsical and chaotic pastime, similar to the at-home music performances that we often see in filmed versions of the story.
Of course, you will also be treated to Mary’s piano skills and a real ballroom dance.
Text adaptation and direction: Alexandra Elroy
Production: Anneloes Vermeer, Esther van der Werf, Marly Terwisscha van Scheltinga
Poster and logo design: Max Philippi