Sense and Sensibility

Norwich Playhouse

> Norwich Playhouse

Swivelling pillars and clever lighting effects; good timing and nicely judged comic acting were the order of the day in this new adaptation by Roger Parsley and Andy Graham, albeit that the production was a little dull.

The hapless disinherited sisters (only two of them in this version) were well matched in the shape of Rebecca Perry and Louise Brighton, and my early fears that they would squeak, pout and stomp about the stage in their frocks turned out to be ill founded beyond the end of the first scene.

The joy of the show for me, however, was Mrs Jennings (Carol Thornton): full of fuss and mischief, and perhaps surpassing even Jane Austen's view of her in terms of intelligence. The men, too, were admirably wimpy.

The first part of the book had been cut, which early on made for a certain unmotivated abruptness in terms of the choices characters were making, and the shift from scene to scene was a bit bumpy.

Despite this the play far surpassed that saccharine blockbuster version of Pride and Preju-dice with Colin Firth and was heaps better than the film with Emma Thompson, staying close enough to the original to let Austen's dry wit cut through.