Love is in the air in Sheffield for outdoor version of romantic tale Sense and Sensibility

Join the critically-acclaimed Pantaloons theatre company as they exercise their Austen powers in their comic adaptation of the literary masterpiece Sense and Sensibility for this open-air show.

By Julia Armstrong
Monday, 12 August, 2019, 13:55
An outdoor theatre production of Sense and Sensibility by The Pantaloons theatre company

The production on stage in Sheffield on August 23 is based on the classic novel by Jane Austen, looking at the lives and loves of two 18th-century sisters from an impoverished genteel family.

Elinor Dashwood has a lot of good Sense. Her sister Marianne Dashwood, on the other hand, has an excess of Sensibility.

Together they make a snappy title for Jane Austen’s classic novel of scandals, scoundrels and severely sprained ankles.

This funny, fast-paced and faithful new adaptation from the critically-acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company features live music, plenty of audience interaction, romance and the inevitable heartbreak.

The Pantaloons are known for their anarchic retellings of classic works of literature, having previously put a hilarious spin on The War of the Worlds, The Odyssey, Gulliver’s Travels, Sherlock Holmes, The Canterbury Tales, Grimm Fairy Tales, Bleak House and many of Shakespeare’s plays.

“We are known for being somewhat silly,” said writer and director Mark Hayward.

“But with our Sense and Sensibility we stay respectful to the things that people love about the book in the first place.

“This production gives Austen fans what they are looking for in a staging – the romance, the scandals – whilst at the same time providing a great introduction to those who are new to the story and also interweaving the elements that make a show intrinsically Pantaloony.”

So, what are the elements that make a Pantaloons show unique?

“Live music, audience interaction, physical performances, and a large dollop of humour,” said Mark.

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“Austen’s original text is full of funny moments; we capitalise on those and add a few of our own.”

The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons began life more than 10 years ago as an open-air theatre company, busking plays for donations in parks and on the streets, where they developed an attention-grabbing, interactive and playful performance style.

“We characterise our work as post-modern folk theatre,” said Mark.

“We take well-loved tales and give them a contemporary twist, making them accessible for new audiences and showing seasoned fans something that they perhaps had not seen in them before.”

The Pantaloons have picked up plenty of loyal followers and a lot of critical acclaim and have quickly become one of the country’s most prolific touring companies – and even they’re not entirely sure how and when that happened.

“We seem to have even slipped under our own radar,” said Mark.

The show takes place at the Botanical Gardens, so the idea is to take along a picnic to enjoy the lovely surroundings and something to sit on.

Shows are very rarely cancelled for rain, except for extreme weather, so it's a good idea to bring warm and waterproof clothing, just in case.

*Box office: www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk