Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)

Oct 20 2022 | By More

★★★★★    Spectacular comedy feast

Lyceum Theatre: Tue 18 Oct – Sat 5 Nov 2022
Review by Suzanne O’Brien.

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) returns to Edinburgh in spectacular style for an extended stay until Bonfire Night at the Lyceum, co-producers of the show’s original tour in 2020.

The retelling of Jane Austen’s classic highlights a time when, for a woman, finding financial security in the shape of a man took priority, while featuring a strong all-female cast who prove that women really can do it all.

Die-hard Jane Austen fans should note the asterisk in the show’s title, otherwise you may be in for a bit of a shock. It’s not quite the ‘proper’ or terribly sophisticated English classic. With a large sprinkle of rather colourful language, the powerhouse cast tell the well-known story from a very different perspective.

Meghan Tyler, Hannah Jarrett-Scott, Isobel McArthur, Tori Burgess and Christina Gordon. Pic: Matt Crockett

Following a successful season in London’s West End, Isobel McArthur’s re-write immediately breaks down any class barriers. The story is told by those integral yet invisible characters – the servants.

All cast members play a servant and multiple other roles – as well as a wide range of instruments including a harp, accordion and a trumpet – and each take a turn singing karaoke. There is an abundance of talent, colour and flamboyance which showcases McArthur’s perfect comic writing.

Directed by McArthur and Simon Harvey, the piece doesn’t lack in the dramatic prolonged looks, romantic music and swooshing dresses which are all synonymous with the classic romance story.

modern lens

However, at its heart and within the humour is a story about inequality, sexism, social expectations, financial pressures and more. This story is told through a modern lens and pokes fun at the challenges that once were, showing how far we have come as a society. Yet it highlights and questions where we are now and what, unfortunately, has not changed.

Hannah Jarrett-Scott and Isobel McArthur. Pic: Matt Crockett

The play follows the rather turbulent relationship between Mr Darcy (Isobel McArthur) and the strong minded Elizabeth Bennet (Leah Jamieson) who, for much of the play, struggle to see eye-to-eye.

Meanwhile Elizabeth’s other sisters Jane, Lydia and Mary (Christina Gordon and Tori Burgess), are also pressurised by their forceful mother Mrs Bennet (McArthur again) into finding a suitable man who will inherit the family’s fortune on the death of Mr Bennet – who is played quite perfectly and silently by a Chesterfield-style chair.

The entire female cast are outstanding and have undeniable talent. Christina Gordon’s portrayal of Lady Catherine is a scene stealer in more ways than one – thanks to a magnificent costume; Leah Jamieson’s feisty and straight-talking Elizabeth is incredibly relatable; and Tori Burgess’s Mr Collins is as slimy and awkward as you could imagine.


Hannah Jarrett-Scott shines particularly bright as both Mr Bingley and his vain sister Caroline Bingley. Jarrett-Scott’s nuances and mannerisms are absolutely spot on and it is a struggle not to laugh at her embodiments of these well-known characters, even in parts without any dialogue.

What is particularly special is her versatility, emphasized through her portrayal of Charlotte Lucas who has to suppress her romantic feelings. Jarrett-Scott’s sincerity and ability to evoke such strong emotion is masterful and heart breaking.

Designer Ana Inès Jabares-Pita’s set features a large swooping staircase which is fantastically incorporated into the piece and gives it a sense of grandeur. In addition, the unique use of set and sometimes outrageous props, as well as the inclusion of modern-day elements elevates the comedy to great heights.

Fans of Austen and even those who have disregarded the iconic book as too ‘highbrow’ will certainly not fail to laugh out loud at this brilliant comedy. It is a feel-good show which exudes a joy and an energy that will leave a lasting glow.

Running time: two hours and 20 minutes (including one interval).
Lyceum, Grindlay Street EH3 9AX. Phone booking: 0131 248 4848.
Tuesday 18 Oct – Saturday 5 Nov 2022
Mon – Sat: 7.30pm; Mats Weds & Sat: 2.30pm.

Tickets and details: Book here.

Then on tour:

Glasgow King’s Theatre, 297 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JN
Mon 7 – Sat 12 November 2022
Evenings: 7.30; Mats Weds, Sat: 2.30pm.
Tickets and details: Book here.

Isobel McArthur, Hannah Jarrett-Scott, Christina Gordon, Tori Burgess and Meghan Tyler. Pic: Matt Crockett


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