|Sam O'Mahony as Darcy & Lorna Quinn as Lizzie|
I may have set myself up badly for the show by rewatching the BBC mini-series that featured Colin Firth as Mr Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Lizzie - surely the most sublime Lizzie ever. I am also reading Jo Baker's most enjoyable Longbourn, which tells the story of P&P from the point of view of Mrs Hill and the other Bennett servants. (I'm very interested in it having just finished writing a domestic service novel set in the 19th C - ooh, Jo Baker writes well!) Anyway, with heads full of Ehle's Lizzie, we took ourselves to The Gate and what we saw was very enjoyable, with a few minor quibbles. One of those being dropped accents - surely at this stage of the run the actors should have their English accents down pat?
|The Bennett girls, hungry for husbands|
|Rebecca O'Mara - excellent as Miss Bingley and Aoibhín Garrihy - a warm and lovely Jane Bennett|
Stephen Swift made a sweet and amiable Mr Bingley and Sam O'Mahony certainly looked the part as Darcy (he is tall, dark and handsome enough for him), but he hadn't enough to do and I didn't see any real warmth grow between him and Lizzie - that may have been due to the rushed nature of everything. But they might have danced more, for example.
Barbara Brennan, another consummate actress, was suitably present and imposing as Lady Catherine de Bourgh but I do think director Alan Stanford might have resisted giving her repeated lines for comedy. As a character, de Bourgh is a frightening prospect with her outrageous snobbery and self-righteousness. I would have preferred if she was left to be as hideous as she is - in a serious way - rather than mine her for laughs.
|A rather crappy phone pic I took of the set|
All in all a very enjoyable production and, if the audience on Friday night are anything to go by, it is going down very well with Austen fans in Dublin.
Pride and Prejudice runs at The Gate until the 8th February. This week is sold out, but it is always worth a try for returns. And there are tickets available for the following weeks.