Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel

Review by Heather McDaid | 08 Aug 2013
  • Austentatious

The fact they're turning people away daily speaks volumes of improv group Austentatious. The premise is simple: the audience writes down the Jane Austen titles that they'd like to see performed and the troupe improvise an entire show around one plucked at random. A simple concept with boundless possibilities when left to those looking to twist an Austen plot.
That is, if the performers are even au fait with the plot. Despite the announcer being unfamiliar with Bagpipes and Basilisks, the day's chosen Austin novel, the improv team successfully detail this lost classic, which sees Mr. Bentley return to his crumbling childhood residence where he is reunited with lost love Seraphina Angel and has to battle the curse that has plagued his abode's basement for millennia – the beast with the dulcet bagpipes tones.

There are some bumps, but it's these moments that bring the most hilarity. Actors trip up over one another's plot lines, but work brilliantly as the characters develop their ties and the plot finds fluidity. The chemistry is undeniable; it's infectious to see them laughing side stage at some of the spontaneous twists and mishaps.

With each unique performance, An Improvised Jane Austen Novel is an absolute must-see at the Fringe. A truly fantastic show with a great comedic cast, Austentatious gives you an experience you'll never quite replicate.

Milk Monitors, Laughing Horse Free Festival @ The Counting House , 8-25 Aug, 1.30pm, Free