Jane Austen's Mansfield Park for the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. This is going to be a challenge, I thought. A four-hundred page book by one of the wittiest writers I know featuring a largely internalising heroine that takes me well over a day to read even knowing it so well - distilled into a two hour stage play.
But it was BRILLIANT.
A very few characters had melted away, a lot of thinking had been précised down into salient-point speeches, but what was left was pure, rich, essence of Austen. In a lot of ways, the very paring down of the text brought out the humour in the book. It certainly contributed to an instant identification of who each character was and what they were like.
|Mr Rushworth declaiming|
All in all, this was a fantastic production - it's on tour later this autumn, so go and see it if you possibly can.