Sense and Sensibility

Ashland, Oregon
at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Sense and Sensibility

Ensemble. Photo by Jenny Graham.

Ensemble. Photo by Jenny Graham.

by Jane Austen
adapted by Kate Hamill

directed by Hana S. Sharif

This “updated adaption” is, in fact, a completely uninspired snoozefest of outdated manners humor unworthy of the acting talent and craft workers it wastes.

We went into the performance expecting that S&S would be a frothy comedy. But, maybe our expectations were raised too high by the thought that it had been adapted to be more modern.

But, whatever. It was not amusing enough to create a bubble of happiness, much less froth.

If you get off on zingers skewing the social scene of 207 years ago, this play is for you. Otherwise, go see Destiny of Desire instead.

Trite, self-importantly funny, endlessly overwrought and over exposed. If I didn’t keep nodding off during the performance I would come up with a longer list of pejoratives to describe the show.

The actors did well. They played their stereotypes with bravado. Go archetypical twerps! The costumes were over-the-top costumes. Perfect. The set the same. I will refrain from naming any the wasted artists — I don’t want them to Google their names and find this comments — they have to perform in this underwhelming lump through October.

There just is nothing to recommend this S&S. It isn’t even bad enough to walk out on. It’s just blah.

I am especially disappointed because I very much like what Director Hana S. Sharif said about her approach to theater and her craft when she talked on a panel opening weekend. She was all about the importance of people and having theater relate to the audience. I just wish I’d seen some of that connection in the play.

Still, I unhappily predict that S&S will be a popular, money-making crowd pleaser. It offends no one. White Bread audiences will find it a comfortable, non-challenging relief to the complex shows that plague OSF’s theaters. The only sex on stage is the stylized romantic courting of 1811, something that even conservative school groups can mmmm… embrace.

For me, although I wouldn’t walk out on it, I’d recommend that you turn back your tickets.

Play rating: Rating 2 out of 5 Syntaxes

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