FRINGE: Jane Austen is Dead – Theatre – The Bakehouse – 4K

Many women are searching for a man. Not just any man, but a man that will sweep them off their feet (whether metaphorically or physically), profess his love in eloquent prose, and shower them with the love and adoration they deserve. For this, in all likelihood unreasonable expectation, many have Jane Austen to blame. Over the hour of Jane Austen is Dead, we get to know Sophie (Mel Dodge) – 33, bar owner, Jane Austen aficionado and lover, single. She takes us through her personal romantic history, providing amusing comparisons of her former love interests to the men in Austen’s classic works.

It is not just Sophie on stage however, with appearances from Mary, the young, gushing, rather desperate barmaid, Helen, the drunken, self-righteous, advice sprouting bride-to-be and Victoria, Sophie’s happily married best friend who had the good fortune to meet her match at the age of 15. Dodge plays all of these roles, slipping easily from one to another and giving each their own clearly defined characterisation. Her further portrayal of the men she encounters through video dating caused great amusement.

The audience was predominantly, and unsurprisingly, female and this is really a great show to go to with a bunch of girlfriends. While some of the characters could be seen to be clichés, there were lots of gleeful giggles of recognition and several audience members nodded at various segments – presumably seeing either themselves or their friends being represented on stage. Jane Austen is Dead is an amusing evening of light entertainment, presented by a talented performer.

Kryztoff rating: 4K

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