Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) – Review – Leeds Grand Theatre

pride and prejudice sort of review leeds grand

By Christine Goode, April 2023

Is it universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice has been done! We studied it at school, (reluctantly for some – myself included), several different versions have been adapted for film and television, and so, what makes this production different from the rest? Well, this has to be seen to be believed.

Writer Isobel MacArthur tells the story from the alternative perspective of the servants, with what proves to be a brilliant piece of storytelling. Taking the audience on a feel-good journey, with lots of laughs on the way.

pride and prejudice sort of review leeds grand 2023


From the moment the doors open and the audience start to arrive, the show is underway. The actors roam the auditorium, interacting in character with the audience as they are getting to their seats, there is no time to have a quick flick through the programme in case we miss something, and already we know we are in for a treat. As the auditorium fills, some patrons fail to notice the comedic shenanigans going on around them… but, not for long! The lights gently go down and we’re off! On a non-stop hilarious ride that you would not think to see Jane Austin’s grandiose characters in.

The entire cast is five women, posing as jaunty below-stairs staff, the backbone of Regency society. McArthur brings their voices to the fore: imagine a big night out with the girls, karaoke, drinking, dancing – what’s the worst that could happen?!

Emmy Stonelake is perfect as a boisterous, hilarious, (and Welsh) Elizabeth Bennet, Dannie Harris’ ‘switcheroos’ between Mrs Bennet and Mr Darcy are flawless, Lucy Gray, Leah Jamieson and Megan Wilson each have countless character changes, enough to make anyone dizzy. Not only tasked with remembering the lines of multiple characters and an array of costume changes, this talented group of actors also play multiple instruments throughout the show.

pride and prejudice sort of review leeds grand theatre


The comedic timing during the production is excellent, not once missing a cue, light change or whatever perfectly timed song is next. There is a nod to current trends today which sit seamlessly and are somewhat priceless, especially when the adoring Elizabeth Bennet serenades the aloof Mr Darcy.

The entire audience were in stitches throughout the entire performance, albeit not surprising considering the comedy, music and overall production. It had everyone singing along to favourites such as Candi Staton’s ‘Young Hearts Run Free’, and Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’.

High praises were heard from the audience as they were leaving the theatre and rightly deserved too. I have seen many other comedy plays, but this by far beats them all! I would recommend Pride & Prejudice *(sort of) to anyone over 15 years who wants a great night out and a good laugh.

‘Pride and Prejudice (Sort of)’ is running at Leeds Grand Theatre until 29th April
images: Mihaela Bodlovic


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