The enchanting and very funny world of Austen

Pride and Prejudice at Stables Theatre. Photo by Peter Mould.
Pride and Prejudice at Stables Theatre. Photo by Peter Mould.

Pride and Prejudice is the most famous love story our country has ever produced.

In Georgian England, men had property whilst women had smelling salts and piano lessons.

At that time women had no legal status. Just as children, they were the property of fathers until marriage when that ownership passed to their husbands.

Women could not own or rent property, they could not vote or have a bank account.

With this backdrop, the Bennet daughter’s prospects are not rosy.

Without financial independence they have few if any choices.

Women sold themselves for a roof over their heads.

How could such an arrangement have a happy outcome and yet Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice as a romantic comedy.

The histrionic attempts at match-making by Mrs Bennet and her daughters are undeniably funny but why is it that this back drop of repression still holds our interest today?

Is it because Elizabeth Bennet’s and Mr Darcy’s passion is reliant on the restrictions of Regency culture, their passion created by its repression? Or is it that love flourishes no matter how awful the situation in which people find themselves and we do so cherish a love story against all the odds!

Simon Reade’s adaptation for the stage looks with affection at the wit and romance of Jane Austen’s most famous literary romance.

An ingenious set and a large cast led by Imogen Willetts, James Slacke, will bring you into the enchanting and very funny world of Jane Austen.

A Stables Theatre Production directed by Carol Hunt.

The production runs from June 1-9. Curtain up at 7.30pm except June 3 at 2.30pm. Tickets: adults: £13, under-18 and groups: £10, and members: £8