A classic revisited

Published: 2 Mar 2012 15:300 comments

Sense and Sensibility

AN EMOTIONAL adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, Sense And Sensibility, will top the bill at Windsor Firestation

Classic yet modern: Sense and Sensibility

Classic yet modern: Sense and Sensibility

. Playwrights Andy Graham and Roger Parsley's take on the much-loved novel lays slay to some of the minor characters while the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, have the intricacies of their relationship explored in greater depth.

The cast of six is directed by Helen Tennison and she explains why she finds by the Graham/Parsley adaptation so intriguing: "It is very strong but in no way sentimental. The Dashwood sisters lose their money at the beginning and have to get used to very different circumstances - economic downsizing is just as relevant today, you can almost hear the audiences sympathising."

Elinor, played by Emma Fenney, and Marianne, portrayed by Bobbi O'Callaghan, find themselves at a crossroads when the death of their father leads to them selling their home, Norland Park, and living a considerably less privileged lifestyle. The girls have to adapt to their new lifestyle in a remote cottage and the story follows their adventures in love and romance.

James Burton doubles up as both Colonel Brandon and Edward Ferras, the love interests of the two sisters, and it is a brave move considering the number of back-to-back scenes featuring both characters.

Burton's distinctive portrayal of the double delights is a masterstroke and his performance leaves no room for confusion and the quality is not compromised.

Coachmen and servants are among the various roles played out by the small cast of young professional actors, who are well backed up by a dedicated and talented backstage crew. The set and costumes are designed by Linbury Prize finalist Ellan Parry, and composer Benedict Davies and sound designer Matt Eaton have been nominated for three Offies awards, by offwestend.com, for Best Production, Best Design and Best Sound.

Tennison has a strong background in movement choreography and her uniquely visual interpretation here is reminiscent of the success enjoyed with the multi-award nominated Breakfast with Emma, a Fay Weldon adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's novel, Madame Bovary.

Sense And Sensibility comes to Maidenhead's Norden Farm Centre For The Arts on Sunday, March 11 and The Firestation Centre For Arts And Culture in Windsor on Friday, March 16. Visit nordenfarm.org or call 01628 788 997 to book for Maidenhead. Visit www.firestationartscentre.com or call the box office on 01753 866865 to book for Windsor.

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