In the introduction to the play ‘Austentatious’, we as the audience get told three facts about Jane Austen: she was a woman, is most certainly dead, and she wrote 932 ‘lost novels’ – 933 as of last Monday night.

How the play works is like this: A member of the audience suggests a title vaguely Austen-themed, and the cast spends the next 100 or so minutes completely improvising an uproariously funny rendition of that particular ‘lost novel’.

The performance that I watched was named ‘Collars and Cuffs’, which followed the story of a seamstress gradually being pushed out of business by the regency-era version of Gianni Versace, a young girl destined to be a master seamstress, who has tragically been kept from discovering her true potential due to having no money to the point where her and her father share a single ‘bed’ made out of two chairs while together they fear the encroaching threat of the talking black mould – which tragically takes her father’s life before the interval. Other characters include a man and his stern and terrifying fiancée, an accountant by day but Guinness world record holder for most bars having drunk Guinness beers in by night, and Lord Michael Flatley (and yes, he danced).

The cast consisted of six actors, often playing multiple roles, which resulted in them having to devise some rather creative ways to show they had changed characters or how to have an exchange when both characters were in the same room. Some of the most entertaining moments were watching the cast break character, crack a smile or stifle a laugh as they watched each other come up with their outrageous plotlines.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a marriage that consists of one of the two locking the other in antique furniture is not destined to work out, which is why the impending marriage between one of the main characters and his fiancée does not occur. The play ended in a classic Austen final scene in which the characters realise they have misunderstood each other and are happier with someone else.

The crowd was in hysterics the whole way through, and a special recognition had to be given to the improvised lighting and the violinist on stage creating a spontaneous underscore for each scene, helping to bring the whole show to life. I think the show is a must-see for anyone who enjoys a bit of Jane Austen, or even if you’ve never picked up an Austen novel in your life, it is still riotously funny.

‘Austentatious’ performs every Monday night from 7:30 until the end of this year and has live captioning on select performances. Some older performances are available in podcast form on BBC Sounds and the live performance shows in the Arts Theatre, Soho.