Although Jane Austen's stories are deeply embedded in a particular time and place they have an elastic quality that lets them be all things to all people.

Along with the endless remakes of film and television adaptations, there have been recent attempts to add zombies and sea monsters to the storylines and fierce academic debates as to whether her work is realistic or satirical, conservative or revolutionary.

Austen Found adds to the tapestry by stitching the distinctive elements of Austen's literary style into improvised musicals. The result is an engaging entertainment full of fun and frivolity.

In Theatre Sports-style the plot is determined by drawing one of the seven deadly sins from a hat and eliciting audience suggestions. But the madcap spontaneity of the improv is balanced with some thoroughly researched character studies and well rehearsed set pieces like the ballroom dancing sequence. The accomplished cast blend all the requisite ingredients into a satisfying potpourri.

Lori Dungey carries off the overwrought anxiety of the interfering mother desperate to marry off her financially compromised daughters.

Nigel Burrows captures the fading bravado of an elderly Army captain and really hits the spot with his portrayal of a lurking and lascivious parson.

Kathleen Burns brings an appealing sweetness to her role as the love interest torn between following her heart and meeting her filial obligations. And Penelope Ashton as the overlooked, sensible sister delivers the ironic, proto-feminist girl talk and keeps the whole enterprise bubbling along with her jolly hockey-sticks enthusiasm.

As is often the case in theatre sports the biggest laughs come as the actors throw themselves into feats of physical theatre and Christopher Neels brings the house down as he frantically switches between playing an unscrupulous cad absconding in a carriage and a reluctant romantic hero pursuing himself on a galloping stallion.

The musical elements are well handled with Robbie Ellis' finely judged piano accompaniment and the cast manage to cobble together rhyming couplets out of the most unlikely material.

What: Austen Found - The Undiscovered Musicals of Jane Austen.

Where: Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre until October 31.