Members say: Clever, Delightful, Great staging, Entertaining, Great acting

About the show

Bedlam presents a playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, following the fortunes and misfortunes of the Dashwood sisters.

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When their wealthy half-brother cheats them of their fortune, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are left penniless. They are forced to leave the comforts of Norland Park and relocate to chilly Barton Cottage in Devonshire. But when John Willoughby, a handsome stranger, arrives one day with a rain-drenched Marianne in his arms, the sisters are convinced that their fortunes are changed forever. After a successful January-April 2016 NYC debut, the show is closing briefly and then reopening for an encore run in June 2016.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews


“This production is charming and wildly inventive...The cast of 10 plays at least twice as many characters, creating entirely new personalities with the change of posture or the addition of eyeglasses or a hat...My only quibble is the few (and they are few) jokes made by inserting modern interventions into Austen-land...But that’s a nitpick. This charming Austenian invention entertains without losing the pain that always lurks below the surface of the lives of Austen’s women." Full Review

Indianapolis Business Journal

"This Jane Austen adaptation—at least in its first half—is both a gloriously smile-inducing celebration of theatrical ingenuity and a clear, brisk telling of the story...'Sense' employs a parade of devices without ever letting the results feel like a parody a la 'The 39 Steps.' After intermission, the plotting gets a little muddy and the gimmicks are piled on a bit thick, but that doesn’t mitigate the magic from a company whose work I’ll now keep a firmer eye on." Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production "This enchanting romp of a play has returned with its buoyant spirits, cunning stagecraft and enlivening insights intact…Your response to the early scenes will probably be surprised, riotous laughter, you are equally likely to find yourself shedding discreet tears by the end. This misty-eyed state is induced not just by Austen’s artistry in setting to rights a world at odds with itself, but also by a troupe’s triumphant joy in giving such defiantly theatrical form to a literary narrative." Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production "The would-be and might-have-been lovers in this enchantingly athletic take on the perils of Austen-style courtship find themselves pushed and pulled by the forces of speculation run rampant…No troupe in New York these days rides the storytelling momentum of theater more resourcefully or enthusiastically than Bedlam…High-octane Austen…Delightful…Theirs is a bouncy, jaunty take on Austen, with a 10-member cast taking on an assortment of roles that are always clearly defined.” Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

for a previous production "For much of the show, I couldn’t help wondering why we needed so much theatrical evangelism for a work whose original version is still completely readable (and popular.) The enjoyable overacting of most of the supporting roles suggested a form of bad faith. Happily, as the focus gradually switched from Marianne to Elinor the tone changed, too, and the grave simplicity of Andrus Nichols’s fine performance steadied the storytelling...A comedy, not a classic." Full Review


for a previous production "Bedlam theater company has remained true to Austen's spirit in Kate Hamill's marvelous adaptation of 'Sense and Sensibility…' This hysterical, endlessly inventive production captures Austen's penchant for satire while inducing laughs with an ever-changing set and 10 brilliant actors who never seem to stop moving. It's one of the funniest, most engaging productions now running off-Broadway…It's hard not to lose one's senses in this kind of theatrical stage magic." Full Review

The Huffington Post

for a previous production "For sheer, exuberant theatricality, head down to the Bedlam production…'Sense & Sensibility' is blissfully delightful…Having the director off-stage, directing--as opposed to on-stage, directing-while-acting--seems to have enhanced the pacing and heightened the dizziness, which adds just that much more to the evening…'Sense & Sensibility' is wildly enjoyable, wildly inventive and wildly funny." Full Review

The Huffington Post

for a previous production "This 'Sense and Sensibility' gets the humor and certainly the gossipy, unforgiving world of high society to a 't.' Its staging is -with that glaring exception- impeccable and truly inventive. It's worthy of a much longer run on a bigger stage and it ranks as one of the best shows of the year. But it does not move you nearly as much as the novel does and a great adaptation should. Still, it's only a few tweaks and perhaps a switch in casting away." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

for a previous production "Tucker's direction suffers from a fatal tonal confusion. Nobody seems clear if they are offering Austen up straight or spoofing her as broadly as possibly…There are many clever staging ideas…But all too quickly cutesy staging ideas overwhelm the text…When they stick to the business of performing the script, the cast is effective…But too much of the time you see the members of the company practically squeezing their own hands in congratulations over their own cleverness." Full Review

Time Out New York

for a previous production "It’s a nonstop delight, the textual richness of Austen’s text matched by the playful staging. At any given moment, there’s some little footnote to savor…Though the style aims for over-the-top, most actors manage to find the core of truth within their caricatures. Steinmetz goes a bit too far as Anne Steele...Conversely, the quarterback-proportioned Tucker underplays Mrs. Jennings...Minor missteps aside 'Sense & Sensibility' makes for a fun theatrical outing." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

for a previous production "The theatre’s limitations might be thought a serious drawback when grappling with such works, but, under Eric Tucker’s inspired direction, Bedlam’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ manages to encapsulate the heart of Austen’s story, and enrapture its audience with equal shares of laughter and tears...Their vision enhances rather than gets in the way of a wonderful story and characters, demonstrating how effectively material conceived for another medium can be brilliantly transposed to the theatre." Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

for a previous production "Bedlam’s production now stands unrivaled for its freshness and immediacy...'Sense and Sensibility,' newly and skillfully dramatized by Bedlam’s Kate Hamill, merits far more attention than I can give it here...A version so full of galloping comic vitality as to suggest a bunch of stupendously clever kids playing dress-up in the nursery. It’s by far the smartest Jane Austen adaptation to come along since Amy Heckerling’s 'Clueless,' and at least as much fun." Full Review

AM New York

for a previous production "Bedlam’s intimate and inventive stage adaptation...Kate Hamill’s adaptation is faithful to the novel, capturing its dueling romantic and socially critical qualities...As directed by Eric Tucker, it is anchored by emotionally revealing performances...The refreshing production makes a strong case for having classic-oriented theater companies produce more literary adaptations. I look forward to what Bedlam does next." Full Review

New York Daily News

for a previous production "It’s goofy, joyous and deeply moving...Chalk it up to the Bedlam theater troupe’s low-tech and highly engaging and imaginative take on the Jane Austen classic...The show puts a premium on clever and vivid storytelling. But this 'Sense & Sensibility' stays faithful to its source through all the cheekiness. The production is a reminder that a strong point of view and invention trumps a big budget." Full Review


for a previous production "You won't find another show in Manhattan at any price, that will immerse you this completely in what's happening on stage…An array of stylized, campy theatrical devices are for the most part ingeniously inventive rather than excessively gimmicky...The rolled on sets do tend to get a bit too much of a good thing around the two hour mark...That said this is one of the most amusing, original theatrical entertainments now running anywhere in Manhattan." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

for a previous production "Bedlam’s 'Sense and Sensibility' is transformative theatre, groundbreaking theatre, immersive theatre, theatre not to be missed...This classic is now not only accessible to the present but relevant to this twenty-first century’s attempts to understand not only the vicissitudes of love but also its penchant for accumulating wealth and power." Full Review


for a previous production “Using a cast of ten versatile actors (playing 17 roles) under the brilliant and ingenious direction of artistic director Eric Tucker, the minimalist production contains all of the key scenes of the book while at the same time skillfully delineating the social fabric of the times. You may never have guessed how funny this story really is. Kate Hamill’s marvelous play is one of the finest stage adaptations of a literary classic. Our Jane would have expressed her approval.” Full Review

Bob's Theater Blog

for a previous production "Kate Hamill’s ingenious adaptation offers sheer delight with its creative stagecraft, lively exuberance, clever storytelling and fine acting. The talented cast of ten, some doubling and even tripling roles, vividly bring Austen’s characters to life. Andrus Nichols has the right gravitas for Elinor Dashwood and Hamill is appropriately overwrought as her sister Marianne...Director Eric Tucker deftly keeps everything under control. It all makes for a very enjoyable experience. " Full Review


for a previous production "An invigorating production that artfully blends words and movement...What's most exciting though, is not that the staging is great, down-to-earth fun. It's that it's all in the service of theater's prime mission: storytelling...In an exemplary adaptation by Kate Hamill Austen's story is related with shining clarity, and with such great humor that, when you find yourself emotionally touched at the end, you're not quite sure how that potent feeling snuck up on you." Full Review

Broadway & Me

for a previous production "I don't usually count myself among the Austen lovers but the Bedlam theater company's delightfully inventive production may make a convert out of me...The entire 10-member cast is terrific and yet first among equals in this production, adapted by Kate Hamill and directed by artistic director Eric Tucker, were Andrus Nichols as the most responsible of the husband-seeking Dashwood sisters and Jason O'Connell as the object of her desire. I want to see them in whatever they want to do." Full Review


for a previous production "Bedlam’s terrific staging of 'Sense & Sensibility' is everything great about reading an Austen novel: wry, sharp-witted, engaging, intimate, and often hysterical. It’s also imaginative in such a way that seems to recreate how readers might actually picture the story in their heads...The company’s stagecraft is whimsy, dynamic, and refreshingly lo-fi. The physical production also manages to capture swells of intense feeling — like heartbreak and betrayal — by doing a lot with very little." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

for a previous production "It may have taken 'Downton Abbey' to make aristocratic costume drama accessible and mainstream, but it took the Bedlam Theatre Company to turn it into a rip-roaring joyride with their astounding production of 'Sense and Sensibility'...This version is lovingly and skillfully adapted...The only way to truly appreciate the play in its entirety is to see it again. I already have my ticket." Full Review

Magical MissTari Tour

for a previous production "The show is very smartly adapted and directed for a cast of ten versatile actors. Obviously, I already love the story and it is being told her very well. Most of the actors play more than one role and they do so beautifully. Each character is perfectly delineated and shows so many of the foibles that Austen captured so well. Everyone had the opportunity to make me laugh and everyone had the opportunity to make me cry." Full Review

Philadelphia Inquirer

for a previous production "The Bedlam Theatre Company's radical, experimental, hilarious, lovable and altogether excellent adaptation for the stage. It's Downton Abbey on roller skates, a rock-n-roll minuet, complete with curls and caps and corsets. Bedlam Theatre, an off-Broadway powerhouse, is a collective of actors of such finesse, such flexibility, such charm, such precision, as to just about redefine ensemble...'Sense and Sensibility' provides a splendid evening in the theater." Full Review

NY Theatre Guide

for a previous production "This high octane take-no-prisoners production is a fun, inviting show that is artfully done, and well, sensible…This production has done a brilliant job of turning an otherwise quiet love story into an amped up music video with relatable twists and turns...It has passion, intrigue, and bravado enough for ten Austen plays. Eric Tucker has done a brilliant job of staging this piece in the round...Kate Hamill’s interpretation and doubling of the roles works to perfection." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Clever, Great acting, Romantic, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you are a jane austen fan.

Don't see it if if you get confused by actors playing sevral parts

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Quirky, Great staging

See it if you like wildly inventive reimagining of a classic tome.

Don't see it if you don't dig quirky off off bway

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if If your a fan of sense and sensibility and you wNt to see it in a new and entertaining way

Don't see it if If you want big scenery and don't like a stripped down stage

Creative, Clever, Quirky, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy inspired takes on period pieces

Don't see it if you prefer your Austen straightlaced and stuffy

Clever, Delightful, Masterful, Must see, Great staging

See it if You want to discover Jason O'Connell who is FANTASTIC Enjoy creativity matched with faithful Austen

Don't see it if You want traditional staging or serious / straight interpretation

Enchanting, Refreshing, Romantic, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you like inventive staging, fresh and fun performances, and a light, original take on a classic

Don't see it if you are bothered by even the slightest breaking of the fourth wall (there is some interaction with the front rows)

Ambitious, Intelligent, Refreshing, Romantic, Great writing

See it if you like-Jane Austen-romantic comedies-period pieces-modern takes on period pieces-parodies

Don't see it if you don't like-minimal set design-same actor playing various roles-immersive theater-over the top comic relief

Clever, Romantic, Overrated, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You're a Jane Austen fan and/or like new, quirky versions of classic works that are playful with form and staging.

Don't see it if You're not a Jane Austen fan or think quirky revisals are a lot of style over substance. I'm not an Austen fan, so that colored this review.

Clever, Delightful, Must see, Refreshing

See it if You can appreciate creative, off-kilter interpretations of classic stories - you are a fan of Kneehigh Theater

Don't see it if You are a purist - have no sense of whimsy.......

Clever, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to see a classic novel that has been re-envisioned for today

Don't see it if don't care about the past.

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Must see, Great staging

See it if you enjoy intimate theatre spaces where innovative, quality, works are preformed. I truly loved this show.

Don't see it if you can't get tickets (it seems as though the rest of its run is sold out).

Clever, Delightful, Immersive, Energetic, Great acting and staging

See it if you enjoy immersive intelligent escapism and excellently rendered Jane Austen with anachronistic hilarious touches. I LOVED IT.

Don't see it if you dislike silliness, theater that is dialogue & character driven, or you're uncomfortable w/ actors speaking directly to you, in your lap.

Also NOT TO BE MISSED. Incredible ensemble work, ingenious blocking and set... Read more Read less

Original, Edgy, Refreshing, Great staging, Electric

See it if you're ready for something totally different and mindblowing, you don't mind non-colloquial language,

Don't see it if you're not ready for a long night of theater, you want a straight play with zero audience engagement

Must see

See it if Even if you're an Austin purist.The show sticks to the story - just spotlights the wit and amps up the action. I laughed & cried (a little)

Don't see it if U tend to fall asleep in theaters.Not likely w/this show but there's seating on both sides of stage and some audience interaction.stay awake

Funny, Clever, Delightful, But what happened to the piano?

See it if you want to see an energetic young cast having fun (but not too much) with a Jane Austen novel, and you have some familiarity with the book.

Don't see it if you know the book so well it would bother you that some things had to be left out, like Colonel Brandon's gift of a piano to Marianne.

Clever, Delightful, Refreshing, Romantic, Great staging

See it if You love clever staging with versatile actors

Don't see it if You are easily confused by actors playing multiple roles

Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you are an Austin fan and you are interested in a well performed and interesting take on this story.

Don't see it if a modernization and creative staging of the story will offend you.

Delightful, Enchanting, Quirky

See it if creative fun well worth seeing, different

Don't see it if you want your playbill foirst

Clever, Delightful, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you are interested in seeing a well-staged and well-directed hilarious take on an Austen story.

Don't see it if you have a low threshold for silliness.

Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy a classic novel revisited in a unique and smile inducing fashion.

Don't see it if annoyed by attempts to fuss with classics.

Also This theater group Bedlam, is much like The Fiasco Group in finding cl... Read more Read less

Delightful, Enchanting, Masterful, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if If you love Jane Austen - this is a brilliant adaptation and pure fun!

Don't see it if I can't think of any reason not to see it.

Clever, Edgy, Refreshing

See it if You're not afraid to "mess" with the classics

Don't see it if You like literal translations, with no surprises.

Funny, Clever, Enchanting, Quirky, Great staging

See it if You like fresh takes on classics; you appreciate clever staging

Don't see it if You don't like Jane Austen; you prefer traditional interpretations of classic works; you need naturalistic acting

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if like fun, clever, creative theatre and Jane Austen.

Don't see it if have no sense of humor or whimsy.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated, Slow, Fluffy

See it if I may be the only one in NY but I disliked this show. Lacked energy. Nothing clever, exciting or unique about it. Left at intermission.

Don't see it if You have more excited plans than wasting an evening at this play. Don't understand the hype of this production at all. Pass on this one.

Cast & Creatives (19)