‘Sense and Sensibility’ is delightful and captivating

Having rescued her from a fall, Willoughby (Michael Scott

Jane Austen’s

Sense and Sensibility

was her first novel and first published work, and it’s
celebrating its 200th birthday. One of the most prolific writers of
her time (more amazing for a woman of that time), her delightful,
well developed, beautifully written stories give us a Peeping Tom
view of the follies and foibles of the people of that time.
Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” was her first novel and first published work, and it’s celebrating its 200th birthday. One of the most prolific writers of her time (more amazing for a woman of that time), her delightful, well developed, beautifully written stories give us a Peeping Tom view of the follies and foibles of the people of that time. Considering she died at the early age of 41, her output of publications was remarkable.

Director Robert Kelly has given us a gift by collaborating with British writers Roger Parsley and Andy Graham in adapting this work. I think Austen would be pleased. Kelly’s direction is delicate and as usual flawless; he is a master of his craft. His actors deliver performances that he expands and hones like a master painter.

“Sense and Sensibility” takes place in the early 19th century in England. Two delightful sisters are left almost improvised when their father dies and in-laws nefariously take over the estate. They are rescued by a kind, distant relative who offers them a place to live and whose main delight is to keep up with the current gossip and find suitable suitors for her charges. With Austin’s delectable dialogue and interesting plot lines, the audience is in for an enjoyable ride.

The ultimate creativity of Joe Ragey’s set designs is a treat for the senses.

Each scene is a transition before your eyes with the relocating of a fence here, a piece of furniture there, moved into place by servants and maids. The oval frames at the back of the set contain projections that fit the scene at that moment. They are fascinating and inventive.

The casting of all characters is perfection rounded out with Fumiko Bielefeldt’s costumes that are detailed and well executed, Pamala Z. Gray’s lighting and Cliff Caruthers’ sound deliver this to the usual TheatreWorks elegant first-rate production.

For an evening of delightful, captivating theatre at its best, “Sense and Sensibility” has it all.

***

‘Sense and Sensibility’

Where: Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View

Through: Sept. 18

Tickets: $19-$69

Details: (650) 463-1960.

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