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Pride and Prejudice Rehearsals Weeks 1-6

 With four proposals, three Regency dances, two confrontations with Lady Catherine and one kiss with Mr Darcy, rehearsals are well under way.

 

It has been 6 weeks since our Pride and Prejudice journey began and oh so much has happened!

Including all of this…

 

Meet the Bennet sisters!

Jane Bennet (Alicia)
Lydia Bennet (Jess)
Kitty Bennet (Rose)
Mary Bennet (Chloe)
(And me!) Lizzie Bennet

 

And when we’re not in regency dress we like to relax with our other favourite cast member, the Athenaeum’s giant bear, aka Mr Darcy’s understudy…

 

With less than 7 weeks to go before our first performance, rehearsals have been in full swing. .We started by blocking the play whilst we had use of the stage, focusing on projection, space and entrances and exits. From here we rehearsed in the Function room three times a week, looking at the closer details of each scene. So far I have been particularly focusing on my more ‘main’ scenes including the famous first proposal from Mr Darcy… ‘You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you’. Johnathon (Mr Darcy) and I have been working closely on this scene to achieve the maximum emotion that is portrayed. It has been challenging and at times tiring (as I’m in every scene!), yet we are all thoroughly enjoying this exciting journey!

We have all been very busy trying to learn lines…

We even had a competition to see who could take a picture with their tote bag in the most interesting place. I believe Sir William Lucas won when he captured this in Venice!

 

And how are the Directors feeling so far…

“We are very happy with the progress made so far. The cast are working very hard to get “off book” and their hard work is beginning to show. Behind the scenes things are coming together nicely. Our producer is getting props organised. We have a soundtrack. We have a little over 6 weeks to go and I am feeling confident about the standard of this production. Tickets sales are coming in as people take advantage of the early bird offer.”

 

 until next time…

Zoe B

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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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The Sheet Music for Austen Film Scores

Jane Austen loved to play the pianoforte. She used to copy out music from her friends into books that remain in the Chawton House library to this day. Many of these pieces- classics by Bach, Mozart, Handel and others – are readily available for today’s musicians. If you want to try your hand yourself, A Carriage Ride In Queen’s Square, a wonderful compendium of original ‘easy to play piano pieces for Jane Austen’s Bath’ with a playalong CD included, is currently available from the Jane Austen Gift Shop.

But what if you want to play music from the movie soundtracks?

Jane Austen's WorldSurely these evoke the spirit of Jane Austen at least as much as the period pieces. Fortunately, many of these- from the original dances used in the movies- to sheet music of the film scores are easily obtained.

Perhaps the most comprehensive collection of works is Jane Austen’s World published by Faber music. It includes:

Emma by Rachel Portman-
Frank Churchill Arrives
Emma (End Titles)

Sense and Sensibility by Patrick Doyle-
My Father’s Favourite
Devonshire
All The Better For Her
Excellent Notion
The Dreame

Pride and Prejudice by Carl Davis
Pride & Prejudice Theme
Canon Collins
The Gardiners
Summary

Persuasion by Jeremy Sams
Persuasion Main Theme
Tristesse
Italian Aria


Jane Austen, The Music
Another book, Jane Austen, the Music  includes a greater range of pieces from both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.
Its contents are:

Sense and Sensibility
Weep You No More, Sad Fountains
A Particular Sum
My Father’s Favourite
Patience
All the Delights of the Season
Steam Engine
Willoughby
Excellent Notion
Combe Magna
There is Nothing Lost
The Dreame

Pride and Prejudice
Opening Title Music
Elizabeth Observed
Canon Collins
The Gardiners
Rosings
Farewell to the Regiment
Pemberley
Thinking About Lizzy
Lydia’s Wedding
Double Wedding

Single sheets for Weep You No More Sad Fountains and My Father’s Favorite are available from the Hal Lenoard Corp. Additionally, music for just Sense and Sensibility, more recently, Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Becoming Jane have also been published. Of course, this only covers the pieces written for the films. For a list of classical music used in the movies (including many Bach and Chopin pieces in Persuasion and Mozart in Pride and Prejudice) and ordering information for all these pieces, visit the Republic of Pemberley’s Music page. For printable country dances, try Christ Peterson’s Traditional Music Page.