In this Austen classic, adapted by Jessica Swale, we follow the fortunes of the Dashwood family. In particular, it is the story of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, sisters who respectively represent the ‘sense’ and ‘sensibility’ of the title.
The three sisters are excellent. Michele Arkle as Elinor performs the role with great integrity and I applaud her for such a strong performance – it cannot have been easy learning all those lines! Emma Davis as Marianne gives a lovely portrayal of her character and her diction is impeccable. The star of the trio is Shana Cooper as the witty Margaret, with perfect comic timing, superb stage presence and great characterisation. The trio complement each other perfectly. Elsewhere, Jenny Green as Mrs Jennings gives strong support and brings an air of comedy to the production.
Some of the technical elements need attention. Some scene changes were laboured and the sound of the cast moving across the stage in the blackouts sadly shaded the theatrical ambience. As well, the first half is one hour and thirty minutes and the play needs to be faster-paced, but this didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the production
This was my first time reviewing at Lyndhurst and nothing could be more welcoming than the cosy ambience of the Vernon Theatre, especially on a cold and wet evening. It is clear that this particular society has a good following and is well supported by the community. They certainly have done Jane Austen proud with this production!