“It is a truth universally acknowledged” … that ‘Pride and Prejudice’, originally written by Jane Austen, is a classic and with any classic there is pressure to do it justice. This Copenhagen Theatre Circle production, running until April 28, certainly strives to achieve this.
A strong ensemble
The story follows the struggle of protagonist Elizabeth Bennet to find love with the hilariously stiff Mr Darcy, as well as fighting with her own pride, and the two leads (Emma Nymann and Niels Madsen) coped admirably with demanding roles in a language that is not their native tongue, mastering near perfect old English accents.
Meanwhile, as expected and hoped, Mr and Mrs Bennet provided strong comic relief. The Danish-based British actor and comedian Adrian Mackinder in the role of the patriarch deserves a particular mention for carrying the big family scenes with his presence and comedic timing, turning exasperation at his over-excited wife into an artform.
Among the supporting cast, Fie Dal in the role of Mary Bennet achieved the right amount of condescension in her delivery, while the performance of Mats Jankowski as Mr Collins was perfectly over-the-top and accented by snorts. Maja Gotland Svendsen as Lydia Bennet managed to come off lively and rambunctious despite being on crutches, which is no mean feat, and her counterpart Mr Wickham (Charlie Waller) was just the right amount of charming and dark motive as the two of them played off one another excellently.
Taking away the formality
The stage at the Krudttønden theatre is not raised and allows for the audience to be up close and personal with the actors, taking away the formality of a time period defined by formality and allowing for creative stage sets.
It is recommended if you are unaware of the story to do a quick google beforehand, as the dialogue can be heavy at times and quickly delivered in what is a production of over two hours long. However, narration helps with the introductions, so props to the director Jens Blegaa.
Overall it is a production that does the English classic proud, perfectly balancing humour, wit, hatred and love with a fantastic array of sideburns.
As good as Blegaa’s version of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ in 2013, this is one of the best CTC productions for years.