Mansfield Park delivers laughs and romance, with added food for thought

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Mansfield Park is a triumphant combination of 19th century courtship and aristocratic buffoonery that results in a brilliant piece of theatre.

The production has returned to Bury St Edmunds for a second year, having received rave reviews in its first outing.

Tim Luscombe’s clever adaptation turns Austen’s classic into a warm, light hearted piece that sits perfectly in Bury St Edmunds’ regency theatre.

For those unfamiliar with novel, it follows the fortunes of Fanny Price as she is uprooted from her simple life in Portsmouth to live with aristocratic relatives in the stately Mansfield Park.

Downtrodden Fanny is buffeted from one mishap to another by her cousins and their well-to-do friends.

As those around her are seduced into disrepute only Fanny is immune - remaining steadfast in her affections.

Fanny’s story touches upon the decadence of the 19th century, marriage in a class driven society and the use of slaves in the building of a fortune.

In the Theatre Royal’s production these factors are shown to be the driving force behind character’s actions elevating the plot above that of two-dimensional period romance.

The cast gave a sleek performance effortlessly switching between roles and successfully delivering brilliant comedic performances as well as sincere romantic story lines.

This is a production you do not want to miss. EL

Mansfield Park runs until Saturday - box office 01284 769505.