I am a bit wary of stage adaptations of classic novels, which can sometimes feel rather leaden or superficial – but I’m pleased to report there are no such issues with this delightful production of Pride and Prejudice at the Pegasus.

Two Bit Classics theatre company have come up with a completely fresh way to bring to life one of the most beloved works of English Literature. Most of us have probably seen the lavish film and TV adaptations, but director Abigail Anderson and company have astutely realised that often ‘less is more’ and embraced this adage brilliantly. Creating a uniquely theatrical experience, a cast of only two performers bring to life a myriad of Austen’s characters in an adaptation of masterful clarity by Joannah Tincey.

Relating all the principal events in the upsy-downsy romance between Elizabeth, witty daughter of the impecunious Bennet family, and wealthy but inhibited Mr Darcy, the story unfolds against a wide variety of locations — skipping from manor house, to parsonage or market town with ease — thanks to a cunning set designed by Dora Schweitzer.

In an acting tour-de-force, performers Nick Underwood and Joannah Tincey bring to vivid life a veritable host of well-loved characters. Jane Austen’s writing works brilliantly for this style of production because her characters have instantly recognisable mannerisms — allowing the actors to change from one to another in less than a heartbeat and with the slightest of costume alteration, ie Mr Bingley sports an unbuttoned frockcoat when, quick as a flash, the buttons are done up and we see it’s Elizabeth Bennet in a dress! The performers are so agile and in control of the characterisations that swapping genders at the drop of a hat (sometimes literally) is effortless.

The audience at the Pegasus had no problem following all this change and change about and enjoyed the quick pace of this highly enjoyable show.