One of the highlights of the AGM was the performance of "The Austen Assizes", a playlet (actually a play-ella, as it lasted close to an hour!), written with an ear exquisitely tuned to the Austen style. as described by co-author (and good friend) Diana Birchall here at her blog:
Diana's ecstatic descriptions do not in ANY way exaggerate the audience response--for the rest of the day thereafter, numerous AGM attendees who went to other presentations during
that same time slot ALL said they heard the laughing from Diana's play
through the partitions in the ballroom, and wondered (like Willoughby sitting sadly on the hill looking down at Marianne at Delafield with Brandon) what THEY were
It is very rare for an amateur performance like this to get the off the charts positive response from a large audience (which would have been twice as large, had the schedulers made it a plenary event) at such an event--the laughs really kept coming and coming the entire time.
And critical to those laughs were the spirited performances of the entire cast.
I could go on and on, and in particular point to some of the subtleties of the construction of the farcical story line which reflect a sensitivity to nuance beneath the broad burlesque, but as I hope that Syrie and Diana will have many opportunities for further performances, and I would not want to spoil that fun for anyone reading here, who might get a chance to see it in the future, I will keep mum on those details for now.
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