As its second sell-out run at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre closes this weekend, the critically acclaimed Pride and Prejudice, which comes to Cambridge Corn Exchange in early October, prepares to embark on its UK tour.
Following the success of Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice is the third Regent’s Park Theatre production to tour the UK and visit Cambridge. Telling the story of the Bennet family and their five unmarried daughters, Pride and Prejudice remains one of the most popular novels in English literature, having sold over 20 million copies and spawned numerous adaptations, most notably the 1940 film starring Laurence Olivier and the 1995 BBC adaptation starring Colin Firth.
Regent’s Park Theatre are known for stunning large-scale sets, last year transforming the Corn Exchange into a desert island with a wrecked aeroplane and amazing special effects for Lord of the Flies. Pride and Prejudice set designer Max Jones took inspiration from Regent’s Park’s decorative iron railings which run around the perimeter of the park and has produced a strikingly elegant structure. His design is used in conjunction with a revolving stage section, producing one of the most ambitious sets the Corn Exchange has ever had.
Pride and Prejudice, directed by Deborah Bruce and adapted for the stage by Simon Reade, has a brilliant cast including Matthew Kelly and Felicity Montagu who play Mr and Mrs Bennet. Cambridge Corn Exchange is excited to welcome back to Cambridge two actors who grew up and went to school in the local area. Benjamin Dilloway plays Mr Darcy, the aloof romantic hero of the play who has captured the hearts of Austen fans, and Kirsty Rider plays Caroline Bingley in her professional debut.
Simon Reade, who adapted the novel for the stage, said “Like any classic work of fiction, it is both rooted in its time but chimes with our own because it dramatises the universal human condition. Falling in love, despairing in the isolation of social censoriousness, the painfully comic generational clashes – all these and more are for all time.”