Friday, August 7

Austentatious

- September 24, 2018

Austentatious has an illustrious cast, from which tonight’s players were selected. Tonight we were treated to an ensemble including Brighton Fringe Latest Comedy Award winner 2018 Joseph Morpurgo and BBC Radio 4 regular Cariad Lloyd, improvising an entire Jane Austen tale ‘lost’ from the canon – Virtue and Vampires, as selected from suggestions from the audience.

Improvised comedy can get a bad rap, getting lost in tangents, excessive corpsing, ignoring the audience’s needs – Austentatious did none of this, and demonstrated just why it is that the form is growing so strongly both over here and Stateside. The players’ rapport and experience was palpable, their knowledge of their playground of Jane Austen tropes infinite, and eye for a joke reassuringly reliable – with 20th century anomalies serving as enjoyable punchlines, whilst maintaining a jovial respect for their creative root: Miss Jane Austen.

Highlights included an illicit liaison through a remarkably thick mimed hedge, ‘Ralph’ the original vampire, and the delayed discovery that our fanged romantic protagonist was George “of The Jungle of Guildford”. Knocking the staid reputation Austen never really deserved out of the Mansfield Park with decorum and delight.

Brighton Dome, 23 September 2018
Rating: ★★★★☆
Victoria Nangle


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