IT IS a truth universally acknowledged, that a theatre in possession of a good audience should be in want of an assured production. Luckily, Pride and Prejudice at the Theatre Royal Bath is nothing short of stellar.

By this point, the story is well known. The second eldest of five sisters, Elizabeth Bennet is a headstrong girl who desires marriage, but for love rather than material gain. Living in Hertfordshire, she is far removed from polite society, but soon events carry her above and beyond, all revolving around the distant, enigmatic Mr Darcy.

The cast are nothing short of a revelation in their delivery. Matthew Kelly twinkles brightly as kindly Mr Bennet, while Felicity Montagu gives her all to the despair and hysteria on which the dramatic Mrs Bennet breathes, with nary a whiff of ham.

But it is Tafline Steen and Benjamin Dilloway, as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy respectively, who truly steal the show. By turns passionate, bull-headed and taciturn, they bring a great deal of energy and life to the production.

All of this is helped considerably by the cunning use of a revolving stage on which a simple circular structure of painted wrought-iron seamlessly transforms the set from an outside to an inside space. The dynamic staging, physicality and flawless choreography, which sees characters move in unison as if engaged in a lively pas de deux even as they lounge around the house, is the perfect framework for Austen’s quick wit and sparkling dialogue.

This is a surprisingly vibrant adaptation, full of charm, subtlety and humour.

Pride and Prejudice runs at the Theatre Royal Bath until Saturday. - Marion Sauvebois