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Meeting the Pride & Prejudice Cast

 

Today was the day that every girl dreams of… meeting Mr Darcy.  Matthew Macfadyen set the bar pretty high, not to mention Colin Firth coming out of the lake with a soaking wet shirt on…  and then of course my favourite line of all ‘My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.’ Just perfection. So it was with no surprise that I was a little, well shocked, to meet my already-happens-to-be-married-with-two-kids-Mr Darcy. That’s not how the story’s meant to go?

Hello again! Yes, as you’ve probably figured out, today was the ‘Meet ‘n’ Greet’ for the cast of the Athenaeum Limelight Players’ Pride and Prejudice (https://www.janeausten.co.uk/austen-mania/ – read my first entry here). A great day was had by all and it was a fantastic opportunity to meet the other members of the cast, discuss plans for the rehearsal process …and eat Pride and Prejudice cake!

Here’s how I got on…

The whole group started with an ice breaker/warm up technique, ‘Zip, Zap, Boing’; a very fun game in which you have to pass the clap or the ‘zip’ around the circle and then various rules get added to make it a simple (although it was quite tough!) but effective method to not only break the ice between new people, but to challenge our reaction times and cues. (This will in time help our reactions and cues on the stage.)

Heather and Adela made the rules more competitive, if anyone hesitated or made a mistake – you were out. We were dropping like flies and unfortunately I didn’t make it to the final 8.

 

Mr Bingley on the edge of his game…

After the boundless laughs we had with this, it was time to cut the Pride and Prejudice cake (cue the excitement!) and then we had the chance to properly meet and talk to one another.

Yum!

Once the very wonderful ‘Meet n Greet’, which directors Heather and Adela organised, had finished, I got the chance to ask them a few questions …

“WHY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE?”

H: “For me the choice was easy. It is the 200th anniversary of Jane’s death and P&P was always my favourite story. The rags to riches story with a twist. A feisty heroine who in a time of little choice for women, knew her own mind. This story is a reflection on Jane’s own life. A woman who broke from the mould of society”

A: “It’s my favourite of all Jane’s novels with Emma and Persuasion close behind. I have read and re-read everything she has written, and my favourite Darcy is Laurence Olivier whom I saw aged 16 when I did P&P for O level English Lit.”

“WHAT CHALLENGES LIE AHEAD?”

H: “I can’t wait to start this production we have the perfect cast but with a large cast there will also be challenges. Not to mention my first time directing anything!”

A:”My biggest challenge is having Heather say at the end that I was a colleague she enjoyed working with, who gave her every opportunity to learn directing, and a cast that has loved every moment of the process”

A Cast photo! Sort of…
This is our very own scaled down model of the stage, set design and cast!

That’s all from me, find out next time what went on in our first proper rehearsal!

Zoe May B

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Austen Mania

austen mania

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an English graduate with absolutely no fortune must be in want of a job.

 

Three weeks later…

And I landed myself with the most perfect role; dressing up in long, elegant dresses, talking about one of the most famous austen maniafemale authors of all time and not to mention the opportunity to see Mr. Darcy as much I want…. in the form of a mannequin. During July of this year I excitingly began working as a Tour Guide at the Jane Austen Centre, Bath and this was just the start of my Austen mania.

Three weeks previously…

I nervously stumbled up the stairs towards the Function Room of the Warminster Athenaeum Theatre, on a quiet Thursday summer evening. The room was filled with many “Janes”, “Lydias”, “Mr Bennets” and unfortunately even the odd “Mr Collins”, all anxiously awaiting their audition. However, Adela and Heather, the directors of the play, made us all feel completely at ease and it was probably one of the most laid back, enjoyable auditions I’ve ever attended.

Aaand three weeks later…

I received a phone call from Heather offering me the part of Miss Elizabeth Bennet – shocked and amazed that I wasn’t going to be playing another tree in chorus 3 again, I took it.

Conversing about Jane Austen, learning about her time in Bath, dressing up in regency costumes AND playing the part of perhaps her most famous protagonist, I really am living the English Grad’s dream and I feel incredibly lucky and excited about this very special opportunity.

Watch this space to follow the mishaps, mayhem and magic of my Austen journey.

Zoe B

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Jane Austen Waxwork now in Bath England

Jane Austen WaxworkThe Amazing Jane Austen Waxwork at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath

Although not breaking news, we thought you’d be interested in this article about the Jane Austen Waxwork which has appeared in Wikipedia.

It contains lots of background info on the waxwork creation and the development of the original portrait by Melissa Dring.

For the full article in Wikipedia press here

Based upon the 2002 portrait, the wax figure’s creation was undertaken by the internationally-renowned portrait sculptor Mark Richards, who had previously created busts of Eric Cantona and Sir Arthur Marshall, as well as a full-life bronze of The Queen and Prince Philip. He was also responsible for designing the 2011 Royal Wedding five pound coin. During the three year process it took to create the Jane Austen figure, Richards worked closely with Melissa Dring, along with hair and color artist Nell Clarke, formerly of Madame Tussaud’s, and BAFTA award-winning designer Andrea Galer. The latter, dressing the completed figure in authentic period costume.