Mansfield Park at Theatre Royal

Mansfield ParkWe recently watched the play “Mansfield Park” adapted from Jane Austen’s novel at the Theatre Royal in Bury St. Edmunds.

I was amazed how badly women were treated in the time period Austen is writing about. They were treated more like property than human beings, and class status affected how women were treated. The lower the social class the worse the treatment. In the novel Austen paints a picture of an old world under threat. There was a battle to preserve the values of a male dominated society and this theme permeates literature of the era. Fanny, the heroine who is shy and reserved, observes the bad behavior of those around her by saying almost nothing. She is moved from her lower social status home to a high-class household where the only person she can be herself around is her brother William.

There are many twists and turns in the play and even though it is obvious that Edmund and Fanny love each other, it’s unclear whether they will end up together because of all the plotting and scheming by other characters in the play. No spoiler here though, if you want the answer you’ll have to see the play for yourself.

Often funny to where you laugh out loud, and at times poignant to where you’re close to tears, the play was a pleasure to watch. Run time of about 2-1/2 hours with one intermission, it was an enjoyable way to spend an evening.

The play was adapted from Jane Austen’s book by Tim Luscombe, directed by Colin Blumenau, and designed by Kit Surrey.

It was our first time to see a production at the Theatre Royal, which was designed and built in 1819 by the architect William Wilkins. It’s the only surviving example of a Regency playhouse in England.

Two Digital Gypsies Rating – 4 Stars