Theatre Information

Herndon High School Pride and Prejudice

By • Apr 27th, 2012 • Category: Cappies, Virginia

Pride and Prejudice: a world where everything depends upon reputations, titles and pleasantries, witnessing the antics of the Bennets, trying to find suitable matches for their five daughters and maintain their status in society. In this classic novel by Jane Austen, presented by Herndon High School, the players brought to life the larks and follies of the Victorian gentry with verve and enthusiasm, on a set that folded out like the covers of a book to give a glimpse into the drawing room and gardens of Longbourne.

Sanam Hashemi (Jane) and Lauren Gabriel (Elizabeth) both carried the poise, gentleness and sanity of their characters throughout the duration of the play. They provided a strong foil to the shenanigans of their feather-headed younger sisters Kitty and Lydia, who played off of one another with a truly sister-like chemistry, and the histrionic, vocal and equally feather-headed Mrs. Bennet. Noticeable were the overstated flourishes of the pompous Mr. Collins, the prim manners of Miss Bingley, and some well-delivered lines by the long-suffering Mr. Bennet.

The costumes and hairstyles were elegant and colorful, and unique enough to distinguish each character. The set was equally charming, a pastel colored country home with old books and teacups and cameo portraits, although the boundaries of the rooms within the home were a bit difficult to distinguish. The stage featured boxes of live flowers to evoke a real English garden.

The performance was by no means flawless, as some characters came off as caricatures, resulting in slapstick moments that felt out-of-place in a reserved period setting. Some of the accents were inconsistent, or exaggerated in a way that distracted from the lines themselves. The characters interacted with the furniture, but their movements and blocking were sometimes stilted, and they didn’t always behave as though they were comfortable within the place that should be home. More believable were their interactions with each other, especially the affection between the Bennet sisters. Overall, the enthusiasm of the players made for a humorous and delightful performance.

The players of Herndon High School presented a charming and vivacious version of this classic story where, in a society of dancing, curtseys and pretensions, finding love means seeing past first impressions and overcoming one’s own self-regard.

by Elizabeth Skelton of Teens and Theatre Homeschool program

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