It is a truth that should be universally acknowledged; you do not need to possess an extensive understanding of the books of Jane Austen to fully enjoy Austenatious. This is intelligent improvisational comedy at its very best but can be appreciated by anyone.

It is clear that the cast of Austentatious know their craft and the audience feel very comfortable in their expert hands.

The cast of seven (which including a pianist who brilliantly underscores the action on stage) act out a play in the style of a Jane Austen novel. It is slick, it is witty and it is a pure joy to watch.

A female ‘scholar’ glides gracefully onto the stage to begin the proceedings, imparting her vast knowledge on the progressive writer and the many novels she produced such as “Pride and Prejudice... and the other ones.” This gets a hearty laugh. Her main task at this juncture is to find a suggestion from an audience member that the cast can run with. The winning suggestion becomes the title and subject of the literary masterpiece they will then act out over the next hour. The shouted out title on this day was “Periods and the Patriarchy”. They pulled it off perfectly.

The humour comes from subverting the polite rules of 18th-century society Austen's work is situated in and bringing it in to the modern age, whilst still delivering it all in period style. Sometimes, actors corpsed when one of the other cast members made a particularly amusing joke – this only added to the humour and didn't detract from the pace.

They don’t even resort to randomly reeling off the most famous Jane Austen novel quotes, which could alienate some of their audience. The humour comes from the improvisational moments, and every moment is in a state of constant manipulation by the cast and by the unique choices they make. It is clear that the cast of Austentatious know their craft and the audience feel very comfortable in their expert hands. While one set of actors is on stage, the others wait in the wings, ready to use the improvised information to their own advantage when it’s their turn in the limelight.

There must be some repeated situations or rules that the cast follow, but these are seamless and undetectable. Who is deciding scene changes? Who cares? It works. It’s the ability of the actors on stage to be able to take an idea, keep returning to this idea and deliver a satisfactory conclusion that makes Austentatious so marvellous to watch.

Austentatious is intelligent and entertaining theatre, which is different every time it is performed. No wonder people keep coming back for more. It makes you want to read Pride and Prejudice. Or one of the other ones.

Reviews by Christine Kempell

Underbelly, Bristo Square


Pleasance Courtyard

Emma Sidi: Faces of Grace

theSpace @ Jurys Inn

The Big Lie

Underbelly, George Square

Siblings: Acting Out

Rialto Theatre

Martin Lingus

Brighton Spiegeltent / Rialto Theatre



Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

After sell-out national tours, a West End run and BBC Radio 4 special, Austentatious returns to the Fringe for its seventh glorious year! Every single day an all-star cast (including Cariad Lloyd, Andrew Hunter Murray, Rachel Parris and more) improvise a brand-new Jane Austen novel based entirely on a single suggestion from the audience. Performed in period costume with live musical accompaniment, this is Austen as you've never seen her before: award-winning, riotous and unmissable. 'Joyously performed' ***** (Times). 'One of the most enjoyable 60 minutes on the Fringe' **** (Guardian).

Most Popular See More

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets