Darcy’s Dilemma (3 stars)

This article is from 2010

Darcy’s Dilemma

A must for all Austenites

Darcy paces a lavishly-furnished regency chamber, clad in dishy regency riding boots; this is a one-man show featuring the gentleman-hero himself. The script moves to and fro between quotations from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and some original material, displaying Darcy’s various attempts at writing a letter of hope to his love, and our favourite heroine, Elizabeth Bennet. It’s a witty and original reaction to Austen’s woman-centered interpretations of love, and when what hasn’t gone into the original letter becomes as amusing as what has, we wonder if it’s Austen who missed out on a comic opportunity here.

The performance captures Darcy’s character perfectly - ranging from his proud yet tender feelings in this pivotal moment of transition to a more gentleman-like manner. In his chamber he soul searches, and comes to realize that blessings of wit and beauty are not inferior to those of baronetcy. It's a poignant tale, but it’s a limited concept theatrically. Its loose structure lulls, and there lacks a sense of where we are in the performance. Consequently the ending, although a strong and comic one, comes rather too abruptly. Nevertheless the witty and insightful script carries this show’s appeal further than the members of the ‘I Love Colin Firth in a Wet Shirt’ Facebook group. It’s a safe choice; amusing to all, and a must for all Austenites.

Venue 21 C Aquila, 0845 260 1234, 5-30 August, 3.45pm, £7.50-10.50

Darcy's Dilemma

  • 3 stars

'Pride and Prejudice' - the story continues... From his breathless entry, William Mickleburgh puts new life into Austen's straight-talking Mr Darcy, revealing the 'naked man' that fans of the novel knew was there, but never quite got to see. The turbulent tale exposes unrequited passion in this witty and engaging drama.