Cedarville’s opening night of “Pride and Prejudice” received a standing ovation from the audience. Set in the Regency era, this classic love story unfolded onstage with an extra dose of humor. The first few minutes of the production explored the meaning of the words “pride” and “vanity.” These two words served as a platform for the rest of the storyline.
The play, adapted by Jon Jory, is based on the novel “Pride and Prejudice” written by Jane Austen in 1813. It takes place in England and explores the struggle of the Bennet family’s search for love, specifically Elizabeth Bennet’s romantic venture with Mr. Darcy. Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship is intertwined in their contrasting economic and social views as well as their pride.
The story begins when a wealthy bachelor, Charles Bingley rents a mansion at Netherfield Park. The news quickly reaches the Bennet home. The Bennet family has five daughters, and the mother, Mrs. Bennet, aims to marry her daughters off. So when a promising situation is presented at Mr. Bingley’s ball, the Bennet family attends. The eldest Bennet, Jane, catches the eye of Mr. Bingley, but it is Bingley’s friend, Mr. Darcy, who takes a liking to Elizabeth, although he is too afraid to show it.
To move the storyline along and introduce new characters, different Bennet sisters often stepped off to the side of the stage to narrate. In the moments of tension between Darcy and Elizabeth, the audience sat in suspense, moved by this unique love story.
Madison Hart played Elizabeth Bennet and lived up to the role of the character. Elizabeth is an outspoken, independent woman, and Hart delivered the role with grace and humor. Her partner, David Widder-Varhegyi, who played the stoic Mr. Darcy, made the audience feel the romantic chemistry between the characters.
The play differed from other adaptions in that it was more light-hearted in certain areas. Moments of comic relief were provided through characters like Mr. Collins and Mrs. Bennet. Mr. Collins, a cousin to the Bennet family, is the next male relative and therefore in line to inherit the estate from Mr. Bennet. Both Mr. Collins and Mrs. Bennet’s strong personalities entertained the audience with humor. These two strong roles provided an ideal balance between comedy and romance.
The set featured white pillars and gray steps with a black city silhouette placed in the background. The cast quickly changed the props in between scenes to avoid interrupting the flow of the play. The simple backdrop allowed the audience to focus on the acting.
The cast perfected the roles as well as their English accents, making each character memorable. This adaption of the well-known love story will not disappoint. There are five showings left on Friday, Feb. 7, Saturday, Feb. 8, and Sunday, Feb. 9.
Kathryn Sill is a sophomore journalism major and an arts & entertainment writer for Cedars. She loves running, dogs and eating.
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