Pride and Prejudice.
(photo credit: Yossi Zweker)
Devotees of Austen’s most celebrated novel may and should go and see its
enjoyable and ingenious adaptation for the Israeli stage in a fringe production
at the Simta Theater in old Jaffa.
Its seven actors play all the parts
except those of Lizzie and Darcy, which are admirably enlivened by the playful
and bright-eyed Mai Sela and the quite unreasonably handsome and suitably
arrogantuntil- bowled-over Zohar Sabag, impeccably resplendent in a crimson
velvet coat, one of the entirely marvelous and correct period costumes created
by Paula Miyudovnik who also designed the set.
Swiveling on your chair,
you may view the action in one or more of the three spaces that cover the many
locales of Austen’s novel.
These are connected by a corkboard pathway
where the characters also interact. Even for those who’ve never read the book,
the adaptation adequately unfolds the story via a series of flashbacks
juxtaposed with current events.
It starts with a bang: Darcy proposes and
Lizzy rejects him – then we’re into the story from the beginning. And it’s
sometimes very funny, as when Shahar Peretz, who plays both the sly Wyckham and
naïve Bingley, opens his arms and shouts “Abba” after his (forced) marriage to
ditzy Lydia, played at 1000 rpm by the energetic Roni Dotan who also, and very
ably, does Miss Bingley, Charlotte and Georgina Darcy.
Lovely Adi Paz
graces Jane, while Avi Hadash, who also plays Bennet and Uncle Gardiner, does
best as the odious and servile Mr. Collins.
Irit Meiri’s Mrs. Bennett is
as unstoppably graceless as her Lady Catherine is imperious.
niggle: Learn the curtsey, girls!