Sense & Spontaneity

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Like any Jane Austen narrative, Sense & Spontaneity has wit, dancing, drama, romance and a plot twist.

Performers Jessica Messenger and Esther Longhurst improvise a new show each night.

Using hats and voice changes, the pair act out a variety of characters and create an entire story inspired by the literary legend Jane Austen. Austen is of course known for books such as Pride And Prejudice and Emma.

The title of this FRINGE WORLD show is a clever play on words based on another successful Austen book, Sense And Sensibility, and weaves aspects of the tale into the show.

The title also appropriately reflects the essence of the production as it is very spontaneous and has minimal sense.

The actors and the audience have no idea what will come next as the plot is driven by chosen audience members.

At the start of the show the performers interact with their crowd and learn about them then use information from the crowd to develop their show.

On this particular night, they pulled out a couple from the crowd and interviewed them about their relationship then let them choose the main character’s name.

The women cleverly tie in jokes based on the audience interaction throughout the play and also make various popular culture references to music and films.

This has a great juxtaposition against their 1800s style of clothing and linguistics.

The narrative relies on various Austen-style tropes of love triangles, balls and crazy relatives, while also poking fun at other traditions such as marrying a cousin.

Messenger and Longhurst bounce off each other well and have fantastic chemistry on stage.

With a basic set and minimal props, these women tell a hilarious and original story every evening.

There was also a great use of sound effects to guide the actors along and add a sense of realism to certain scenes.

I highly recommend everyone take the chance to enjoy this unique experience.

Love the show? Have your say!

Jackie-Raphael

Review by Jackie Raphael on 15 Feb 2019

Jackie has a PhD in creative advertising and design. She teaches at the University of Western Australia, has published multiple books and critiques films for A-List Reviews. Other than talking and writing, she loves dancing, eating and travelling.