The cast was small and those few actors played multiple roles. And some minor roles were even played by several different actors in different scenes. For example, the wife of Sir John Middleton is written with very few words and even less personality. So several of the other actors (female as well as male) donned her tiara and shawl to say her lines. Another character, Mrs. Ferrars (mother of Fanny, Edward and Robert) was portrayed by a puppet. These silly interpretations were fun and endearing and allowed otherwise underutilized actors opportunities to show off their acting chops. This acting company of very few, did a bang up job bringing out the humor of this beloved tale. But when pathos was called for, they could turn that on as well!
One of the innovative set ideas they employed was to use movable chairs, tables and beds on rolling wheels. The main actors were moved around by secondary players who carried green handkerchieves when they were playing "stage crew" or "Narrators" called "the Gossips." So within the space of seconds, scenes could change from a parlor set to dining table to bed chamber to carriage complete with prancing horses (also played by actors). The effect was delightful!
One of my favorite parts was when the actress who played both Mrs. Fanny Ferrars as well as Miss Lucy Steele had a scene in which those two characters had a knock down drag out fight. She played them both! She fought herself! It was so funny. Other actors helped her in and out of a "robe" costume change as other actors moved around a chaise lounge and other furniture to heighten the action. Well done!
I think that it helped that most of the audience members were well acquainted with the book and other movie adaptations. They knew the plot and characters so well, that it didn't really matter who did the acting -- male or female. It was all good fun!