< Previous production
Sense and Sensibility

By Jan Austen adapted by Jessica Swale

14th - 17th July 2022
Open Air Production in the
Grounds of Deans Court Wimborne

Sense and Sensibility poster

CAST

Elinor Dashwood
MICHELLE BARTER

Marianne Dashwood
JO EVA EDINGTON

Margaret Dashwood
BETHAN MORRIS

Mrs Dashwood
JUDY GARRETT

John Dashwood / Robert Ferrars
COLIN PILE

Fanny Dashwood
SALI PIKE

Thomas / Mr Perks / Dr Harris
CALUM HEARNE

Edward Ferrars
JAMES RENWICK

Mrs Jennings
HEATHER BIRCHENOUGH

Sir John Middleton
TONY PARKINSON

Colonel Brandon
GARY PAINE

John Willoughby
ROB CORDING-COOK

Mr Palmer
RICHARD SCOTSON

Mrs Palmer
LINDSAY McGOWAN

Lucy Steele
JEMMA CABLE

Miss Grey
KELLY WEBB
TRACEY NICHOLLS (Sat only)


Director
TRACEY NICHOLLS


 

A truly sumptuous evening, a rather good Shiraz, delicious food including a very tasty pasta, tuna and bean salad made by my companion’s own fair hand and most importantly, for open air theatre, a glorious summer evening. I love costume dramas and this production delivered in every way. My first visit to an open-air theatre since I played a servant in Taming Of The Shrew on Brownsea, probably a couple of decades ago.

Set in the beautiful grounds of this ancient house with fine Georgian facades, one felt you were being invited into a previous age where wealth, circumstance and marriage was of utmost importance. Margaret (Bethan Morris), in her own unique way, brought the audience back to “now” with her childlike comments and inquisitive personality, accompanied by a spontaneous chorus of jackdaw extras at one point.

This story by Jane Austen and adapted by Jessica Swale is so well known and we all have our favourite characters. The humour presented by Mr and Mrs Palmer (Richard Scotson and Lindsay McGowan), the nervousness and humility of Edward Ferrars (James Renwick) and the sense of responsibility and hidden feelings of Elinor Dashwood (Michelle Barter). However, this production feels like a real team effort, a cohesion of individual characters, excellently portrayed by a very professional troupe. Well done to everyone involved and a particular mention to the Director, Tracey Nicholls. Auditions for this performance were held in March 2020 with only one rehearsal before Covid struck, so it has been a long time coming but we are now hopefully coming out of that period and what a lovely way to celebrate with this amazing achievement.

I haven’t been to an outdoor production where the performers were microphone edited and because some scenes overlapped, it was sometimes hard to distinguish who was talking. Nevertheless, the costumes were authentic, the set design enhanced the smoothness of every interaction, and the music gave a richness and depth to the whole performance.

What a delight to have such entertainment on our doorstep.

Helen Lawrence, Scene One

--

On a very warm and sunny summer evening what could be better than sitting in the grounds of a beautiful house, being treated to a highly professional production of Sense and Sensibility?

Written by Jane Austen but adapted by British playwright Jessica Swale, it follows the loves, heartaches and subsequent triumph of kindness over material wealth of the three Dashwood sisters who are forced to move with their widowed mother from a big estate to a modest cottage.

Set in the late 18th century the story moves between locations in Sussex, South East England and London, with the creative team of set builders having come up with subtle and innovative set changes.

I would normally pick out a number of performances to highlight but with a large cast of 16 main players, it is impossible to single out particular actors as they all – yes all –put in highly accomplished well rounded portrayals, getting under the skin of their characters. No weak links at all.

Many of the actors have been part of the local am-dram scene for several years, but they interact brilliantly with those who are new to Wimborne and to open air theatre.

The auditions were held in early March 2020 and the cast only managed one rehearsal before lock-down, so this production has been long awaited and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Huge accolades to director Tracey Nicholls and to the cast of – in order of appearance – Michelle Barter, Jo Eva Edington, Bethan Morris, Judy Garrett, Colin Pile, Sali Pike, Calum Hearne, James Renwick, Heather Bichenough, Tony Parkinson, Gary Paine, Rob Cording-Cook, Richard Scotson, Lindsay McGowan, Jemma Cable and Kelly Webb.

 Marilyn Barber, Dorset View


















 


Photographs: Richard Neal

Wimborne Drama Productions