Jane Austen Festival Day Five - Part 2
That evening (Wednesday September 18) I attended a performance of Two Bit Classics Pride and Prejudice - For 2 Actors
The play was in rehearsals and we got to see a workshop of some of the scenes. The actress is also the playwright and she was looking for feedback on her script. She tried to be faithful to the novel and not use anything Jane Austen didn’t write. The director wanted feedback on the action since there’s only two actors. The actor and actress play all the roles and the narrator. They don’t always play someone of their own gender but it worked. Someone pointed out that the clothing styles are very androgynous and that helps. We especially liked that the writer kept in the narration which is the funny parts. Someone commented that the film and TV people seem to think Jane Austen = serious literature and forget how witty she was. The director pointed out the advantage of live theater where you can get the narration. It was funny and the quick change characters flowed well once I got used to it. It wasn't too difficult to figure out who was speaking. Each character has a prop of some sort to help the audience better distinguish between two characters. Also, the actors' voices changed depending on which character they were speaking. Caroline Bingley sounds exactly how Caroline should sound - with a snobbish drawl and Mrs. Bennet speaks very quickly and is always popping something in her mouth. Mary Bennet is represented by her music stand and she's referred to but didn't speak in the scenes we saw. I wish we could have seen the whole thing.
The play is a lot of fun and if you are able to catch it on tour or see it at next year's festival, I recommend it. I look forward to reading about the finished play.