Archive for the ‘Pride and Prejudice 1995’ Category

Last night we were treated to a delicious evening’s entertainment from two of our wonderful British actors at the Jane Austen Festival. Adrian Lukis (who is a very well-known and loved actor in the UK –  he played Mr Wickham in the classic 1995 Pride and Prejudice adaptation)  and Caroline Langrishe (who is well-known for her roles in Judge John Deed, Lovejoy and Sharpe) entertained us with a selection of duologues – some of the most memorable scenes from Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion and of course, Pride and Prejudice. My personal favourites were the scenes from Persuasion – beautiful!
They were absolutely brilliant and brought all of the characters to life – it’s always wonderful to hear Austen performed ‘out loud’ and the audience lapped it up – the room echoed to the sounds of their laughter!  

Caroline Langrishe and Adrian Lukis performing Austen duologues – Jane Austen Festival

I was very lucky to meet Adrian and Caroline when I appeared in a Masterchef episode for the BBC last year – celebrating the 200th anniversary of Sense and Sensibility. We had a lot of fun filming the episode, especially off camera and it was lovely to catch up with Caroline last night – they both graciously appeared after the show to chat with everyone gathered there – what a treat for Austen fans!

Adrian Lukis at the Jane Austen Festival

Adrian Lukis and Caroline Langrishe are currently touring with a play, The Handyman, with Timothy West and will be appearing in Cheltenham tonight!

“Harwood’s best and finest play”
 The Sunday Times
Ronald Harwood, Academy Award-winning playwright and screenwriter is the author of this intelligent and stimulating story about law, justice and revenge.
Cressida and Julian Field live comfortably in the Sussex countryside with their elderly Ukrainian odd-job man and friend of the family, Romka. He cooks, mends fences, trims hedges and grows vegetables. Cressida calls him her ‘life-saver’. Then suddenly two police officers from the War Crimes Squad arrive… What has Romka done? Is he guilty? Is there a time limit on punishment?
The Handyman looks at responsibility and the possibility of evil, in a story that holds and intrigues from start to finish. 

The week-long shows begin at 7.45pm with additional afternoon shows taking place on the Thursday (September 20) and Saturday (September 22) at 2pm.
Tickets cost from £10 plus a booking fee and are available by calling the Everyman Theatre Box Office on 01242 572573 or by visiting www.everymantheatre.org.uk.

I shall be talking at the Jane Austen Festival on Wednesday 19th September – it would be lovely to see you there!


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In Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth goes touring to Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle they visit Pemberley and to Lizzy’s horror she comes face to face with Mr Darcy. She’s really embarrassed because she’s turned down his marriage proposal and she is mortified at what he will think of her looking over his house and grounds. But, it’s at this point in the book that Darcy starts to show that he’s really taken notice of Elizabeth’s criticisms of him and he makes an enormous effort to be extra civil and attentive to her and her relatives.

During the visit he introduces his sister Georgiana, and Lizzy discovers that Bingley is with him also. Her sister Jane is in love with Bingley, and been disappointed by him. Yet, it is very clear that he has not stopped thinking about Jane and this is proved when he remembers the exact date when he saw and danced with her last – November 26th.

Here’s an extract from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice followed by one of my favourite scenes that takes place during the Derbyshire visit from the BBC Pride and Prejudice with that ‘look’ from Mr Darcy!

Miss Darcy and her brother appeared, and this formidable introduction took place. With astonishment did Elizabeth see that her new acquaintance was at least as much embarrassed as herself. Since her being at Lambton, she had heard that Miss Darcy was exceedingly proud; but the observation of a very few minutes convinced her that she was only exceedingly shy. She found it difficult to obtain even a word from her beyond a monosyllable.

Miss Darcy was tall, and on a larger scale than Elizabeth; and, though little more than sixteen, her figure was formed, and her appearance womanly and graceful. She was less handsome than her brother; but there was sense and good-humour in her face, and her manners were perfectly unassuming and gentle. Elizabeth, who had expected to find in her as acute and unembarrassed an observer as ever Mr. Darcy had been, was much relieved by discerning such different feelings.

They had not been long together before Darcy told her that Bingley was also coming to wait on her; and she had barely time to express her satisfaction, and prepare for such a visitor, when Bingley’s quick step was heard on the stairs, and in a moment he entered the room. All Elizabeth’s anger against him had been long done away; but had she still felt any, it could hardly have stood its ground against the unaffected cordiality with which he expressed himself on seeing her again. He inquired in a friendly, though general way, after her family, and looked and spoke with the same good-humoured ease that he had ever done.

To Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner he was scarcely a less interesting personage than to herself. They had long wished to see him. The whole party before them, indeed, excited a lively attention. The suspicions which had just arisen of Mr. Darcy and their niece directed their observation towards each with an earnest though guarded inquiry; and they soon drew from those inquiries the full conviction that one of them at least knew what it was to love. Of the lady’s sensations they remained a little in doubt; but that the gentleman was overflowing with admiration was evident enough.

Elizabeth, on her side, had much to do. She wanted to ascertain the feelings of each of her visitors; she wanted to compose her own, and to make herself agreeable to all; and in the latter object, where she feared most to fail, she was most sure of success, for those to whom she endeavoured to give pleasure were prepossessed in her favour. Bingley was ready, Georgiana was eager, and Darcy determined, to be pleased. In seeing Bingley, her thoughts naturally flew to her sister; and oh! how ardently did she long to know whether any of his were directed in a like manner. Sometimes she could fancy that he talked less than on former occasions, and once or twice pleased herself with the notion that, as he looked at her, he was trying to trace a resemblance. But, though this might be imaginary, she could not be deceived as to his behaviour to Miss Darcy, who had been set up as a rival to Jane. No look appeared on either side that spoke particular regard. Nothing occurred between them that could justify the hopes of his sister. On this point she was soon satisfied; and two or three little circumstances occurred ere they parted, which, in her anxious interpretation, denoted a recollection of Jane not untinctured by tenderness, and a wish of saying more that might lead to the mention of her, had he dared. He observed to her, at a moment when the others were talking together, and in a tone which had something of real regret, that it “was a very long time since he had had the pleasure of seeing her;” and, before she could reply, he added, “It is above eight months. We have not met since the 26th of November, when we were all dancing together at Netherfield.”

Elizabeth was pleased to find his memory so exact; and he afterwards took occasion to ask her, when unattended to by any of the rest, whether all her sisters were at Longbourn. There was not much in the question, nor in the preceding remark; but there was a look and a manner which gave them meaning.

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Here are some more photos from my day out at ‘Longbourn’ with P and P Tours! We were taken into the church first, which features in the very first episode as well as the wedding scene at the end. I’ve included the BBC clip of the wedding so you can see exactly where we were. Helen and Maddy bring the whole event alive with their insider knowledge combined with expert knowledge on the historical background of the time. The church is very beautiful, and being attached to the house is so typical of the kind of manor houses found in Jane Austen’s day. I hope you enjoy the photos.


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Thank you to everyone who left such lovely comments about the cover of Mr Darcy’s Secret. I’m thrilled that you all like it as much as I do! I’ve been very busy writing a short story for an Austen Anthology which Laurel Ann of Austenprose has put together, I’ve just finished another book which I’m now editing, and I’ve recently joined a new blog of Austen Authors – but more of that later!
I’ve also just come back from my summer holiday, and was feeling very rested until I realised that it’s now payback time. Mountains of washing later, and still plenty to go, I’m wondering why I always think it’s a good idea to take so many clothes. But, I’ll stop moaning, I had a lovely time, and the memory of wonderful Spanish sunshine and food will stay with me for a long time.

Before I went away, I had a real treat in the form of a day out at Longbourn – Afternoon Tea with Mrs Bennet, no less, who I have to say was far too young and the epitome of a gracious hostess to take after her namesake. But, I digress!
P and P Tours run the event, and as with everything they do, it is always a delight with the wonderful team of Helen and Maddy. The only drawback was the rain which steadily poured down, but nothing could spoil our pleasure, and by the end of the afternoon we saw sunshine again which made everyone extra happy.
I’ve got so many lovely photos that I shall have to do a few posts to do them justice. If you remember the wonderful BBC Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle production of Pride and Prejudice you will certainly recognise the Bennet’s house at Longbourn. Set in the real Wiltshire village of Luckington the owners today allow public access only through P and P tours and we all felt very privileged to be shown round. It was even more beautiful than in the series, and it was such fun to spot everything. You can imagine, I had to completely watch the re-run of the adaptation when I got home. We started off in the church which you can see above – but I’ll leave it there for now – more next time!
Notice the lovely Bennet sisters in the photo – Helen and Maddy are third and fourth from the left and the other girls are participating guests who got to dress up for the day. Don’t they all look wonderful?


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