You probably know the classic Jane Austen story Pride and Prejudice. It's an old-school soap opera of sorts... full of longing, love and lust. But this west coast premiere of Seattle Repertory Theatre's Pride and Prejudice is not your grandma's Mr. Darcy.
"I'm not going to say there is nudity, you're just going to have to buy a ticket," said Brandon O'Neill, who's playing three very different characters. "This is a big, broad comedy, a lot of laughs, but still with the heart and the romance and all the things you come to expect from Jane Austen."
The actors are still dressed like the beloved characters from the 1800s, but this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice takes an undeniably modern and humorous approach to love and sex.
"It's not the Pride and Prejudice you have seen before," continued O'Neill.
"A lot of people know this story, they know what happens, but I think the way it is presented is so fresh and new that you might forget what happens at the end," explained Kjerstine Anderson, who plays Lizzie Bennett.
"I don't want to give away things, but there's some really funny stuff," said O'Neill. "We get to see actors completely doused with water from head to toe on stage, which is so rare."
The story of Pride and Prejudice is a romantic tale as old as time. One where opposites first repel each other and then attract.
"I play Lizzie Bennett, who is, I guess the romantic leading lady of the story," said Anderson. "She meets this guy who is super rich and seems like a total snob, so she hates him at first, of course, but she's wrong. And, they fall in love and that's the end… that's me."
But, in this production the actors are practically schizophrenic as they play multiple parts in a series of complicated love triangles.
"I play three different roles. I play Mr. Wickham, Mr. Collins and Miss Bingley," explained O'Neill. "And, all three of these characters basically act as barricades to Lizzie's love journey. Mr. Collins is a ridiculous character. He's a lot of fun to play. I get away with a lot. But also playing a lady is something I don't get to do very often because I look hideous as a woman, but it is a lot of fun."
The pace onstage is as frantic as the plot.
"I would say, there's so many changes and so many unexpected events in this show, that at least for me, I'm just sort of buckling up, getting on the roller coaster and just going up," said Anderson. "I never leave the stage."
And, if you aren't a fan of Jane Austen or English manners, don't worry! This play has something for everyone.
"And this is not just a show for the ladies, the people who have read Jane Austen, this is a show for everybody," said O'Neill. "The guys are going to have a ball at this show. The kids will have a ball at this show. It's just racy enough to keep everyone on the edge of their seats, but not dirty. It's great. It's just great."
Pride and Prejudice runs through October 29 at Seattle Repertory's Bagley Wright Theatre. For tickets, click here.