Sense and Sensibility
Youth Action Theatre
Hampton Hill Theatre - 15 August 2019
Review by Arts Richmonds Young Laureate Catherine James
The Youth Action Theatre gave an absolutely charming performance of Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ at the Noel Coward Theatre in Hampton Hill Playhouse, directed by Sarah Dowd and Elizabeth Lattimore. The cast engaged the audience fully in this most intimate setting and brought heartfelt emotion, humour, romance and elegance to their performances.
The elder Dashwood sisters, rational, prudent Elinor and her impulsive, passionate sister Marianne were played wonderfully by Jennie Hilliard and Emmy Coates, who conveyed perfectly the contrast between ‘sense’ and ‘sensibility’. Meanwhile Meaghan Baxter brought a delightful energy to her role as Margaret Dashwood, captivating the audience with her keen observations of the period’s typical view of women and the complex romantic situations of her elder siblings, whilst dreaming of her own beautiful love story. The three sisters shared most tender moments together during the play and delivered Jane Austen’s storyline with fantastic clarity and poise, ably supported by their male counterparts.
Mary Rycroft injected fantastic humour and frivolity into the play in her role as jolly Mrs Jennings, displaying perfectly her passion for romantic gossip, facilitated by her son-in-law’s frequent parties, picnics and social gatherings to bring the young people together. Colonel Brandon (Josh Clarke) and Edward Ferrars (Cameron Christie) finally brought deeper relationships and a sense of justice to the tale, proving conclusively that Elinor could follow her heart and Marianne her head in love.
Wonderful period costumes and furniture, provided by Sarah Dowd, Elizabeth Lattimore, and Jenna Powell brilliantly transported the audience to the Regency period and provided a fabulous backdrop to this richly rewarding Jane Austen drama.
I would wholeheartedly recommend YAT’s performance of ‘Sense and Sensibility’ to viewers at the Edinburgh Fringe.
An absolutely charming performance of Jane Austenī