Looking for something to do this week? Ottawa Little Theatre has the perfect thing
Ottawa Little Theatre’s (OLT) Sense and Sensibility has all the markers of Jane Austen’s early eighteenth-century novel. As comical as it is touching, the production leaves audiences feeling much lighter as the curtains come to a close.
The first of nine productions to hit the stage this year at OLT, Sense and Sensibility, the play written by Kate Hamill, follows the plot of the literary classic with a few added twists. As director Riley Stewart writes in the program, Hamill’s 2016 adaption “uses all of the satire and richness of Sense to create a bright, buoyant theatrical event.”
The audience is treated to colourful costumes gliding before painted-white props as the scenes unfold. New and returning actors bring Austen’s story to life — Emily Walsh and Abbey Sugars-Keen play the elder sister, Elinor Dashwood, and her middle sister, Marianne, respectively. Every scene with the two of them perfectly depicts the traits that each is meant to embody: Elinor, practical and sensible to a fault; and Marianne, her opposite in every regard.
The romance throughout the play is uplifting, as Elinor and the endearingly awkward Edwards Ferrars (portrayed by Walsh’s real-life husband, Braden Sabourin) show the tension that comes with being unsure. Marianne, a clear romantic, falls fast and hard, and her dalliances with John Willoughby (Thomas Jestin) and Colonel Brandon (Guy Newsham) put the dangers of rose-cloured glasses to the stage.
With a little under a three-hour run time, a showing of Sense and Sensibility is the perfect way for any neighbouring student to spend their evening. Just steps away from the University of Ottawa on King Edward Avenue, OLT has been bringing timeless productions to the community for decades. The 2022 season saw classic stories set to stage, such as Holmes and Watson (written by Jeffrey Hatchner and directed by Alain Chamsi) and Miracle on 34th Street (written by Mountain Community Theatre and directed by Lisa Dunn and Josh Kemp).
Sense and Sensibility will be on the stage until March 18, with shows every day except Mondays and Tuesdays.