... you might not recognise Austen’s prose in even half of Jeff James and James Yeatman’s inventive and extremely funny adaptation, but they have certainly captured the spirit of her characters. Its questioning spirit runs through this show like a subversive message in a stick of Lyme Regis rock... Step by step, James explodes those conventions to reveal these characters in all their seething, psychological distress. Everyone is on the edge; their state of mind fraught, their life choices potentially perilous. Only love, or the illusion of it, offers moments of hedonistic relief... James mines terrific comedy from Austen’s novel often by amplifying what is already there and giving it a modern twist... The sublimely funny centrepiece scene, at Lyme Regis, is a riot of soapsuds and sexual tension... Persuasion is Austen’s most mature and melancholic novel, a frost-tipped exploration of the meaning of love and a quietly savage critique of Regency England’s obsessions with money and class. James offers a parallel commentary on how these sorts of novels are organised, the narrative patterns they conform to, and the parts of the story they leave out... It’s a terrific tribute to Austen in the bicentenary year of her death.