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Swirling take on costume classic

Published on isbi School News dated Thursday 27th of October 2011

A sparkling version of Jane Austen's most celebrated novel, 'Pride and prejudice', attracted an audience of almost 700 at Wisbech Grammar School.

A cast of 37 ranging from 12 to 18 years old rehearsed after school every day and on Sundays for three months for the new adaptation by Simon Reade of the 200-year-old comedy, which demonstrates the folly of judging by first impressions and pokes fun at the affectations and etiquette of country life.

Experienced actors stepped into the shoes of the romantic leads. Joshua York, who appeared in 'Amadeus' as Mozart and in 'The duchess of Malfi' as Bosola, played Darcy. Opposite him was Kate D'Aloia, who was Katherina Cavalieri in 'Amadeus' and Cariola in 'The duchess of Malfi', as Elizabeth Bennet. They were supported by a strong cast which included many new faces.

Director Miss Alison Clayton, who was taking charge of her tenth major show in a row at the school, explained how she had put a terpsichorean stamp on the production.

She said: 'There was lots of dancing. The show was characterised by one scene whirling into another, punctuated by balls and assemblies, and it climaxed in one final swirling waltz, for which the Viennese waltz seemed eminently suitable.

'I was looking for something that would contrast with the two quite harrowing productions in their individual ways that preceded it and that would give a vehicle to provide some opportunities for the girls.

'It is a well known, well loved story and this adaptation is a very light-hearted romantic treatment of the novel.'

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