Pride and Prejudice (sort of)

Criterion Theatre
Piccadilly Circus, London

Public Previews: 15 October 2021
Opens: 2 November 2021
Closes: 13 February 2022

Buy tickets:

Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Show times
Monday no shows
Tuesday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 7.30pm
Thursday at 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 3.00pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 2.30pm and 7.00pm

Runs 2 hours and 30 minutes including one interval

Seat prices
£? to £? (plus booking fees if applicable)

Pride and Prejudice

Isobel McArthur's unique all-female retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (sort of) in London

An audacious retelling of Jane Austen’s most iconic love story in an irreverent but affectionate all female adaptation. It’s the 1800s. It’s party time. Men, money and microphones will be fought over. Let the ruthless matchmaking begin.

The cast includes Christina Gordon, Hannah Jarrett-Scott, Isobel McArthur, Meghan Tyler, and Tori Burgess.

Directed by Simon Harvey and Isobel McArthur, with choreography by Emily Janes Boyle, comedy staging by Jos Houben, designs by Ana Ines Jabares-Pita, lighting by Colin Grenfell, and sound by Luke Swaffield.

This stage adaptation by Isobel McArthur of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was first presented at the Glasgow Tron Theatre from 28 June to 14 July 2018. Directed by Paul Brotherston, with designs Ana Ines Jabares-Pita, the five-strong cast featured Christina Gordon, Hannah Jarrett-Scott, Isobel McArthur, Meghan Taylor, and Tori Burgess. Prior to London it was presented at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre - previewed from 7 September 2019, opened on 12 September 2019, and closed on 28 September 2019 - followed by a six-venue regional tour: Newcastle upon Tyne Northern Stage from 2 to 12 October 2019; Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 15 October to 2 November 2019; Edinburgh Royal Lyceum Theatre from 23 January to 15 February 2020; Leeds Playhouse Theatre from 25 to 29 February 2020; Oxford Playhouse Theatre from 10 to 14 March 2020; and Southampton NST City from 17 to 28 March 2020. For this staging the cast was expanded to six, with Felixe Forde joining the original five 2018 cast members, who where again directed by Paul Brotherston, with designs by Ana Ines Jabares-Pita.

Pride and Prejudice (sort of) in London at the Criterion Theatre public previews from 15 October 2021, opens on 2 November 2021, and closes on 13 February 2022


1966: London Production at the Arts Theatre

1986: West End Production at the Old Vic Theatre

2013/2016: London Production at the Open Air Theatre


1966: London Production (James Liggatt and Robert Sheaf)

Opened 14 June 1966 (no previews), Closed 2 July 1966 at the Arts Theatre

Adapted for the stage by James Liggatt and Robert Sheaf from the novel by Jane Austen.

The cast featured Jack Allen as 'Mr Bennet', Peggy Ann Wood as 'Mrs Bennet', Petra Davies as 'Elizabeth Bennet', Susan Jameson as 'Jane Bennet', Holly Doone as 'Lydia Bennet', Terence Longdon as 'Mr Darcy', Tony Russell as 'Mr Bingley', Peter French as 'Captain Wickham', Amanda Birkin as 'Maid', Ann King as 'Charlotte Lucas', Joan Haythorne as 'Lady Catherine de Burgh', and Peter Myers as 'The Rev Collins'.

Directed by David Phethean, designs by Evan Hercules.

This stage adaptation premiered on Monday 24 January 1966 at the Bromley New Theatre, with a cast that featured Jack Allen as 'Mr Bennet', Althea Parker as 'Mrs Bennet', Petra Davies as 'Elizabeth Bennet', Susan Jameson as 'Jane Bennet', Jennie Woodford as 'Lydia Bennet', Terence Longdon as 'Mr Darcy', Michael Gaunt as 'Mr Bingley', Michael Culver as 'Captain Wickham', Ann King as 'Charlotte Lucas', Harriette Johns as 'Lady Catherine de Burgh', Jackie Jerome as 'Maid', and Peter Myers as 'Reverend Collins'. It was directed by Shelia Hancock, with designs by Bruce Palmer and, following a one-week run at Bromley, this production embarked on a regional tour. In late March 1966, while still touring, there was a major cast change to match the London cast, with David Phethean taking over as the director, and Evan Hercules taking over as the designer. (In mid-March 1966 the original director, Shelia Hancock, started rehearsals for playing the role of 'Karen' in Bill MacIlwraith's The Anniversary). Following a final week of the tour at the Oxford New Theatre from Monday 6 June to Saturday 11 June 1966 this production transferred to London's Arts Theatre.


1986: West End Production (David Pownall)

Previewed 28 January 1986, Opened 29 January 1986, Closed 8 March 1986 at the Old Vic Theatre

Adapted for the stage by David Pownall from the novel by Jane Austen.

The cast featured Peter Sallis as 'Mr Bennet', Pauline Yates as 'Mrs Bennet', Tessa Peake-Jones as 'Lizzy Bennet', Cherry Gillespie as 'Jane Bennet', Amanda Harris as 'Lydia Bennet', James Warwick as 'Mr D'Arcy', Stuart Organ as 'Mr Bingley', Gwynn Beech as 'George Wickham', Sarah Wynter as 'Charlotte Lucas', Ian Gelder as 'Reverend Collins', Julia Deakin as 'Caroline Bingley'/'Anne De Bourgh', and Irene Sutcliffe as 'Lady Catherine De Bourgh'.

Directed by Bill Pryde, with choreography by Sue Lefton, designs by Poppy Mitchell, lighting by Mich Hughes, and music by Andrew Dickson.

Prior to London this production, with the same cast, was presented at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre from Wednesday 11 September to Saturday 5 October 1985; and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre from Monday 7 October to Saturday 2 November 1985.


2013/2016: London Production (Simon Reade)

Previewed 20 June 2013, Opened 25 June 2013, Closed 20 July 2013 at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
Previewed 2 September 2016, Opened 7 September 2016, Closed 17 September 2016 at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

A major revival of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in London, in an adaptation by Simon Reade

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." As the Bennet sisters haplessly search for love in Jane Austen's ultimate romantic comedy, it is Mr Darcy who unwittingly finds his match.

Adapted for the stage by Simon Reade from the novel by Jane Austen.

The cast for the 2013 season featured Timothy Walker as 'Mr Bennet', Rebecca Lacey as 'Mrs Bennet', Jennifer Kirby as 'Miss Elizabeth Bennet', Yolanda Kettle as 'Miss Jane Bennet', Eleanor Thorn as 'Miss Lydia Bennet', Leah Brotherhead as 'Miss Mary Bennet'/'Miss de Bourgh', Imogen Byron as 'Miss Kitty Bennet', David Oakes as 'Mr Darcy', Rob Heaps as 'Mr Bingley', Barnaby Sax as 'Mr Wickham', Caroline Harker as 'Mrs Gardiner', David Whitworth as 'Sir William Lucas'/'Mr Reynolds', Ed Birch as 'Mr Collins', Frances McNamee as 'Miss Caroline Bingley', Jane Asher as 'Lady Catherine de Bourgh', Olivia Darnley as 'Miss Charlotte Lucas', and Sophia Capasso as 'Miss Georgiana Darcy'.

The cast for the 2016 season featured Matthew Kelly as 'Mr Bennet', Felicity Montagu as 'Mrs Bennet', Tafline Steen as 'Miss Elizabeth Bennet', Hollie Edwin as 'Miss Jane Bennet', Mari Izzard as 'Miss Lydia Bennet', Leigh Quinn as 'Miss Mary Bennet'/'Miss Annabel de Bourgh', Anna Crichlow as 'Miss Kitty Bennet'/'Miss Georgiana Darcy', Benjamin Dilloway as 'Mr Darcy', Jordan Mifsud as 'Mr Bingley', Daniel Abbott as 'Mr Wickham', Charlotte Palmer as 'Mrs Gardiner', Dona Croll as 'Lady Catherine de Bourgh', Francesca Bailey as 'Miss Charlotte Lucas', Kirsty Rider as 'Miss Caroline Bingley', Mark Rawlings as 'Sir William Lucas'/'Mr Reynolds', Steven Meo as 'Mr Collins', Ally Manson, and Geoff Arnold.

Directed by Deborah Bruce, with movement by Sian Williams, sets by Max Jones, costumes by Tom Piper, lighting by Tina MacHugh, music by Lillian Henley, and sound by Matt McKenzie.

Immediately following the return 2016 season this production embarked on a major four-month regional tour up to February 2017 (excluding December 2016/January 2017).

Felicity Montagu's London theatre credits include 'Melanie Garth' in Richard Eyre's revival of Simon Gray's Quartermaine's Terms at the Wyndham's Theatre in 2013; and 'Claire Ffolliott' in Howard Davies' revival of Dion Boucicault's The Shaughraun at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre in 1988.

Tafline Steen's London theatre credits include 'Jess Edwards' in Rupert Goold's production of Mike Bartlett's King Charles III at the Almeida Theatre and transfer to the West End's Wyndham's Theatre in 2014.

Simon Reade's London theatre credits include the stage adaption of Michael Morpurgo's novel Private Peaceful at the Trafalgar Studios in 2006 and 2007 and the Haymarket Theatre in 2012.

When this production was originally seen here at the Open Air Theatre in June 2013, Quentin Letts for The Daily Mail praised it as being "a lovely show," explaing that "Deborah Bruce's brisk direction keep the story motoring... This is a perfect Pride And Prejudice: skittish, comical, easy on the eye and moving, even though we all know how it ends." Fiona Mountford in The London Evening Standard commented that, "inevitably some of the texture of this immortal book is lost in translation but it's remarkably little in Simon Reade's fluid adaptation," concluding that "all in, a lot to be proud of." Sarah Hemming in The Financial Times highlighted how "Deborah Bruce's spry, witty production uses the revolving stage to create a bustling social world... Simon Reade's fluid version adroitly balances plot essentials and detailed scenes... and what does translate well to drama is Jane Auste's brilliant depiction of character... Deborah Bruce's staging is bright with observant little details." Michael Billington in The Guardian thought that "Simon Reade has done a thoughtful, intelligent job and the production looks good, yet what one misses is the persistent, ironic voice of Jane Austen herself... Even if any adaptation inevitably offers diluted Jane Austen, Deborah Bruce's production is well staged." Libby Purves in The Times said that "this bicentennial Simon Reade adaptation provides an unusually elegant and thoughtful frame for Deborah Bruce, the director, and her bravely decolletée outdoor cast. It clips along smartly from scene to scene without a moment's confusion, and shows a respect for Jane Austen's dialogue and thought." Charles Spencer in The Daily Telegraph complained that it was a "lazy and underpowered production. It is - dread word - a romp that somehow misses almost everything that makes Pride and Prejudice such a great, wonderfully enjoyable novel... Deborah Bruce's production certainly looks a picture... unfortunately, the acting is decidedly patchy... this most delightful of novels proves a dreary dramatic slog." Likewise Julie Carpenter in The Daily Express said: "I'm afraid it is unlikely to be universally acknowledged a success... with scenes feeling all too rushed there is no time to build up a rapport between the two leads. Most obviously the production fails to capture Jane Austen's wit and knowing irony."

When this production was originally seen here at the Open Air Theatre in June 2013, Quentin Letts for The Daily Mail praised it as being "a lovely show," explaing that "Deborah Bruce's brisk direction keep the story motoring... This is a perfect Pride And Prejudice: skittish, comical, easy on the eye and moving, even though we all know how it ends." Fiona Mountford in The London Evening Standard commented that, "inevitably some of the texture of this immortal book is lost in translation but it's remarkably little in Simon Reade's fluid adaptation," concluding that "all in, a lot to be proud of." Sarah Hemming in The Financial Times highlighted how "Deborah Bruce's spry, witty production uses the revolving stage to create a bustling social world... Simon Reade's fluid version adroitly balances plot essentials and detailed scenes... and what does translate well to drama is Jane Auste's brilliant depiction of character... Deborah Bruce's staging is bright with observant little details." Michael Billington in The Guardian thought that "Simon Reade has done a thoughtful, intelligent job and the production looks good, yet what one misses is the persistent, ironic voice of Jane Austen herself... Even if any adaptation inevitably offers diluted Jane Austen, Deborah Bruce's production is well staged." Libby Purves in The Times said that "this bicentennial Simon Reade adaptation provides an unusually elegant and thoughtful frame for Deborah Bruce, the director, and her bravely decolletée outdoor cast. It clips along smartly from scene to scene without a moment's confusion, and shows a respect for Jane Austen's dialogue and thought." Charles Spencer in The Daily Telegraph complained that it was a "lazy and underpowered production. It is - dread word - a romp that somehow misses almost everything that makes Pride and Prejudice such a great, wonderfully enjoyable novel... Deborah Bruce's production certainly looks a picture... unfortunately, the acting is decidedly patchy... this most delightful of novels proves a dreary dramatic slog." Likewise Julie Carpenter in The Daily Express said: "I'm afraid it is unlikely to be universally acknowledged a success... with scenes feeling all too rushed there is no time to build up a rapport between the two leads. Most obviously the production fails to capture Jane Austen's wit and knowing irony."

Pride and Prejudice in London at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park with previewed from 2 September 2016, opened on 7 September 2016, and closed on 17 September 2016.