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Review: Sense and Spontaneity THE MUSICAL at The Library at Girls School

Review By Sophia Gilet

The show is a joy to watch. You are in the hands of mastery as these two best friends take you through a Jane Austen story with all the tropes and characters that you love. There is so much appreciation of Jane Austen in this show and all she has bought us in Mr Darcy, Emma and more.

You walk up the stairs to the Old Girls school Library- A very fitting place for this show indeed.

The stage is small the setting intimate, a musician gently plays on the piano as the audience are seated and start to whisper to each other. The stage is set with a window and greenery - a horse or two and hat racks- 2 ginormous hat racks stuffed full of bonnets, hats and other outlandish head gear.

The acknowledgement of the traditional land owners and then Esther Longhurst and Jessica Messenger are introduced on stage where they warm the audience up for the show- most of this audience had come to Sense and Spontaneity before- which speaks volumes of these performers and their story telling skills. Peter Townsend was introduced as this weeks musician.

Esther and Jessica obviously have a friendship of a lifetime and are very dear to each other. They have so much fun on stage and at times need a moment to compose themselves as the other has them in fits. Sense and spontaneity has been going since 2015 and since then they have just gotten better, and this year bigger. They have previously produced a rap- letter to Mr Darcy himself with a very clear message from all Jane Austen fans that has gone on to win awards and done Christmas shows but this fringe they have committed to a Sense and Spontaneity THE MUSICAL with songs galore.

Very impressive in an improvised show and hugely exciting.

Peter is this weeks musician and he plays note perfect all the way through supporting the two improvisers and embellishing each scene as it goes. Each week the musician will change, however the calibre will remain the same.

The show goes along at cracking pace with mystery, forgotten childhood sweethearts, mean spirited ladies who miss their dead husbands,awkward men, stuck up men, allusions to Shakespeare and even comment on a improvisation itself in this madcap, classy show.

The costumes were simple but the bonnets and hats were many and each lady was able to perfectly embody that Austen man we all know and love so well, as well as the snobbish mother and excitable young sister.

The set was pleasing and the actors used it to maximum effect, switching from London town to a paddock full of cows in seconds.

The show started with the two performers asking some questions until they found themselves two unsuspecting ladies- who they promptly interviewed and requested that they be able to base their characters on. With asides to the audience this show included the us in every joke.

The energy was fantastic and had people laughing all the way through.

If you go to this show you like many others will feel a need to go see these two a second time or perhaps a third time as each show is completely new and you can't help but want to join these lovely ladies as they celebrate and have fun in the world of Jane Austen.

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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