A must for all Austenites
This article is from 2010.
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