‘Pride and Prejudice’
by Jane Austen. Adapted by Simon Read.
Auditions: Sunday 7th January 2018 at 3pm.
Playing Dates: 1st – 9th June 2018.
Director: Carol Hunt.
Pride and Prejudice is the most famous love story our country has ever produced.
In Georgian England, men had property whilst women had smelling salts and piano lessons. At that time women had no legal status. Just as children, they were the property of fathers until marriage when that ownership passed to their husbands. Women could not own or rent property, they could not vote or have a bank account.
With this backdrop, the Bennet daughter’s prospects are not rosy. Without financial independence they have few if any choices. Women sold themselves for a roof over their heads. How could such an arrangement have a happy outcome and yet Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice as a romantic comedy. The histrionic attempts at match-making by Mrs Bennet and her daughters are undeniably funny but why is it that this back drop of repression still holds our interest today? Is it because Elizabeth Bennet’s and Mr Darcy’s passion is reliant on the restrictions of Regency culture, their passion created by its repression? Or is it that love flourishes no matter how awful the situation in which people find themselves and we do so cherish a love story against all the odds!
My production will tell its story with humour, style, dance and fabulous costumes but, alas, without Darcy coming out of the lake with a wet shirt!
Auditions will be heard in the following order:
Mr. Darcy with Elizabeth Bennet
Mrs Bennet with Mrs Gardiner
Mr Reynolds (or Mrs Reynolds)
At approx. 4pm
Kitty Bennet with Lydia Bennet
Miss Bingley with Mr. Bingley
Sir William Lucas
Lady Catherine Du Bourgh
It would be appreciated if some of those who have auditioned for Elizabeth, Darcy, Jane, Mrs Gardiner, Mr and Mrs Bennet would stay, if they are able, in order to read in for those auditioning for other characters.
If you would like further information please call Carol Hunt 01797 260898.
Playing age 18ish. Younger sister to Darcy. Georgiana is beautiful and shy. She is an accomplished pianist. (Those auditioning for her role need not have her talents!)
P73 “May I offer one more surprise” – “Has he?” (read with Darcy and Elizabeth)
Playing age 20. Second daughter of five. More sensitive and wise than her siblings, she is sharp witted and quick to form prejudices. She is unfashionably outspoken and opinionated. A strong bond with her older sister Jane.
P28 “Do you not feel” – p29 “misunderstand them” (read with Darcy)
P87 “So my aunt was here before me” – p89 “A man who felt less might” (read with Darcy)
Playing age 25/30ish. Wealthy master of the Pemberley Estate. Intelligent and honest. He is what we would call today, a snob. Darcy is proud and looks down on his social inferiors. Attracted, against his better judgment, to Elizabeth’s eyes and outspoken strong character. Good friend to Mr Bingley.
P28 “Do you not feel” – p29 “misunderstand them” (read with Elizabeth)
P87 “So, my aunt was here” – p89 “A man who felt less might” (read with Elizabeth)
Playing age 50-60. A gentleman of modest income and five unmarried daughters. He has a cynical sense of humour which he enjoys using on his daughters and, in particular, Mrs Bennet. He reflects on the folly of marrying this once beautiful woman below his station and prefers not to get involved with the marriage plans of the women around him. Particularly fond of Elizabeth.
P90 “You need say nothing” to p92 “I am quite at leisure” (read with Elizabeth)
Playing age 50s. She is often foolish, noisy, opinionated and sometimes embarrassingly rude. It is easy to laugh at her. Her purpose in life is to see her daughters suitably married. Elizabeth is far too out spoken in her eyes to make a match easy so she often speaks of her in a rather disparaging way.
P49 “My dear sister” – p50 “rejecting Mr Collins” (read with Mrs Gardiner)
Playing age 50s. Sister to Mrs Bennet. She is a sensible and caring aunt to the Bennet sisters and something of a voice of reason to Mrs Bennet.
P49 “My dear sister” – p50 “rejecting Mr Collins” (read with Mrs Bennet)
Mr Reynolds (This role may be played by a Mrs Reynolds)
Playing age 60s. House keeper at Pembury. Very fond and proud of his/her master.
P70 “And far beyond the park” – p71 “rattle away like some young men” (read with Mrs Gardiner and Elizabeth)
Playing age 22. Eldest and considered the prettiest of the Bennet sisters. She is more reserved than Elizabeth and reluctant to see anything but good in anyone.
P48 “Oh Elizabeth” – p49 “take care that they should” (read with Elizabeth)
Playing age 17. The fourth daughter. Kitty is skittish and, like Lydia, is also very fond of soldiers in red uniforms. Excited by any opportunity to attend a ball.
P 65 “Kitty, Lydia!” – p66 “If I were you, Jane” (read with Jane and Elizabeth)
Playing age 16. The youngest of the Bennet daughters. She is immature, selfish and gossipy. The officers are a magnet to her and she runs away with Wickham oblivious of the potential consequences to her sisters. Admired by her mother who perhaps sees her younger self in Lydia.
P65 “Kitty, Lydia!” – p66 “if I were you Jane!” (read with Kitty, Jane and Elizabeth)
P77 “Good gracious” – “the winter is over” (read with Mrs Bennet)
Playing age 18. Mary is the middle sister. She is pedantic and bookish. Plenty of scope to bring humour to this role.
P76 “Well, well, do not make” – p76 “sisterly consolation” (read with Mr and Mrs Bennet)
Playing age 25/30ish. Wealthy close friend of Darcy. Genial and easy going. He has none of the class hang-ups of Darcy. He is in love with Jane. Rather awkward and shy in her company.
P21 “Her manners” – p24 “that she was very accomplished” (read with Miss Bingley, Darcy and Elizabeth)
Playing age mid 20’s. It seems that Miss Bingley has all the pride that her brother lacks. Her dislike of Jane’s and Elizabeth’s middleclass background knows no bounds. Attracted to Darcy, she does all that she can to discredit Elizabeth.
P21 “Her manners” – p24 “that she was very accomplished” (read with Mr Darcy, Mr Bingley and Elizabeth)
Sir William Lucas
Playing age late 50s. Father of Charlotte. A gentleman of status but no great wealth. A kind. gentle man keen to see Charlotte wed but without the pushy urgency of Mrs Bennet.
P14 “What a charming amusement” – p15 “Oh cruelty, thy name is woman”. (read with Man/Darcy and Elizabeth)
Playing age 26. Six years older than Elizabeth and her closest friend. Charlotte is pragmatic and does not view love vital in a marriage. She is more interested in security and a comfortable home so when Mr Collins proposes, even knowing she is not his first choice, she accepts. It is all she believes she can hope for.
P40 “Charlotte!” – “a matter of chance” (read with Elizabeth)
P51 Charlotte’s letter
Lady Catherine Du Bough
Playing age late 50s. Mr Darcy’s aunt and patroness to Mr Collins. She is a rich noblewoman who uses her status to command and judge people less well breed. Her daughter and Mr Darcy have been ‘intended’ since birth. Her wonderful dialogue with Elizabeth calls for a strong actress.
P83 “You can be at no loss” – p84 “Now what do you have to say?” (read with Elizabeth)
P86 “Tell me once for all” – p87 “will ever be gratified” (read with Elizabeth)
Miss Du Bourgh
Playing age 25/30. The sickly daughter of Lady Catherine Du Bourgh. Expected to marry Darcy. A nonspeaking role.
Playing age 30/40s. Mr. Collins will inherit Longbourn, the Bennets’ home on Mr Bennet’s death, there being no male heir. He is a pompous clergyman of no great social status but clings to the coat tails of his patroness Lady Catherine Du Bourgh. He is rejected by Elizabeth. A lot of fun and humour to be had in this role.
P36 “Miss Elizabeth” – p38 “Your excellent parents” (read with Elizabeth)
Playing age mid 20’s. Dashing, handsome officer to whom Elizabeth is initially attracted. He is very charming and could be described as a modern day con artist. A waster.
P45 “The late Mr Darcy” – p46 “to enter the regiment here” (read with Elizabeth)
Scripts are available to hire from the Box Office.