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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical by Jane Austen and Penny Ashton

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In this deft, witty and winning take on Jane Austen, New Zealander Penny Ashton plays Elspeth Slowtree, at age two-and-20 already “hurtling toward spinsterhood,” with only the powers of her pen to keep her from genteel poverty. In a gloriously crowded one-woman show, Ashton also plays Elspeth’s gadabout sister, nervy mother, snobby neighbour and a gaggle of suitors. Oh, and she’s a dab-hand at the ukulele, too.

Ashton’s sparkling script riffs on the structure, characters and dialogue of the Austen canon, but you don’t need to be a dedicated Janeite to enjoy the romp. Ashton also throws in topical references, cheeky feminist comment and some unexpected musical mash-ups, ranging from Beethoven to Bon Jovi. (Watch for the melodious etiquette lessons of a certain Miss Kardashian, renowned as a model of delicacy and taste.)

In the end, we learn that balancing work and love can be tricky for a young woman, but Elspeth remains confident that this difficulty surely will be solved 200 years hence!

— Alison Gillmor

 

 

From the Fringe program:

Director: Penny Ashton
Cast: Penny Ashton

 

Charmingly accomplished Penny Ashton (Patron's Pick 2013) mashes up Bon Jovi, bonnets and big balls with alacrity! Join Elspeth as she battles literary snobbery, Cousin Horatio and her mother's nerves armed with a blushing countenance, superlative cross-stitching and being quite bright…you know, for a girl. Back by popular demand!

 

Winner Best Performance in a Comedy, Auckland Fringe

***** "…a delight…" - CBC Manitoba

****½ – "Spiffing" – Edmonton Journal

**** "Cheeky fun" - Winnipeg Free Press


Audience Classification: General
Length: 75 mins.
Tickets: $10

 

Warnings: None

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