Theater Review

Pride and Prejudice Directed by Irit Frank Simta, April 30.

Pride and Prejudice (photo credit: Yossi Zweker)
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.
One little niggle: Learn the curtsey, girls!