Skip to main content

Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort of)

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Five stars 

Isobel McArthur’s audacious and thoroughly (post) modern pop-tastic remix of Jane Austen’s girl-powered rom-com has already cleaned up in terms of audience and critical acclaim. This has been the case both when the Blood of the Young company first brought Paul Brotherston’s breathless production to the Tron in Glasgow in 2018, as well as throughout its current UK tour.

This time out, and with the Lyceum on board as co-producers, the sisterhood has been expanded for McArthur and co.’s turbo-charged pot-pourri of proto-feminist fire and prime-time cork-popping froth. Where before there were five performers play-acting Austen’s dissection of love and life in nineteenth century ballrooms from a servants’ eye view, now there are six. The addition of Felixe Forde to the fold doesn’t in any way demean the quick-fire romp through the romantic merry dance that plays out between ferocious she-punk in waiting Lizzy Bennett and mono-syllabic nice guy toff Darcy. Rather, it actually makes things even better, elevating the action by several notches.

This makes for a profoundly joyous confection that stays faithful to Austen’s original while flirting precociously with a pick and mix of theatrical tricks that add a whole range of flavours to an already sumptuous rites of passage. Ana Ines Jabares-Pita’s grandiloquent design and Simon Hayes’ lighting give space enough for Emily Jane Boyle’s choreography to breathe, while Michael John McCarthy’s musical supervision mines jukebox, karaoke and dancefloor favourites to power things along in the spirit of a Crackerjack pantomime.

Throughout all this, Meghan Tyler as Lizzy and McArthur as Darcy character-hop their way through the dressing up box alongside Forde and an equally playful Tori Burgess, Christina Gordon and Hannah Jarrett-Scott as the other Bennett siblings and a whole lot more besides, heroines every one. As Lizzy, Darcy and co take a lover’s leap towards a liberated future, the end result of this theatrical whirligig is a kick-ass delight from start to finish.

The Herald, January 27th 2020

Ends


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug