Breaking Bad for the Jane Austen lover
Hall for Cornwall
Review by Lee Trewhela
I TOOK a rest from Breaking Bad for some Creaking Trad – a flippant tweet I made after seeing this much-lauded Jane Austen adaptation.
Buy one get one free on main course and specials excludes fillet steaks and beef wellingtons
Must book to qualify and present voucher on arrival 01209860332
Contact: 01209 700617
Valid until: Wednesday, December 11 2013
Actually, minus the crystal meth and sudden bursts of violence, the two shows have the same moral – the consequence of your actions will have dire effects.
So social schemer Mary Crawford (an ebullient Laura Doddington) fails in her bid to ensnare down-to-earth prospective clergyman Edmund Bertram (a likeable performance by Pete Ashmore); likewise her brother and uncontrollable flirt Henry (Eddie Eyre) has no chance of marrying Fanny Price (an enigmatic Ffion Jolly).
Austen’s social satire of early 19th-century courtship is adroitly adapted by Tim Luscombe and director Colin Blumeneau’s expertise in Georgian theatre shines through.
This means the set is of the period – a singular backdrop and limited stage. At times the incessant dialogue of manners called for more visuals to lift proceedings; the incessant skirting around relationships had me wishing a time machine and packet of Durex would land on stage. Oh, do get on with it.
But these were different times, of course, and if Fanny may be a difficult heroine to love, stranded on her moral high ground, then the playfulness of the other characters makes it a delight.
Hats off to Geoff Arnold who played wastrel son Tom Bertram, bumbling suitor Mr Rushworth AND Fanny’s naval midshipman brother William. I’m sure he was on stage with himself at one point ....
With the nation in love with costume dramas, here’s a sparky addition to the list.
Mansfield Park runs until Saturday – see www.hallforcornwall.co.uk for ticket details.