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Talisman Theatre all set to host World Premier of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Joanna Ryan McGough as Jane Bennet, Adam Turner as Mr Bingley and Chris Bird as Mr Darcy. Photo courtesy of Peter Weston.

Talisman Theatre is proud to announce the highly anticipated World Premiere of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ a brand-new stage adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved classic. The production, adapted for the stage by celebrated local writer Andrew Davies, will grace the stage at the end of June at Kenilworth's Talisman Theatre.

Known for his exceptional work on TV adaptations such as House of Cards, Middlemarch, War & Peace, and Bleak House, Andrew brings a fresh perspective to this well-known romantic comedy. Inspired by his own screenplay for the renowned BBC TV series that aired in 1995, Andrew's adaptation gained fame for the unforgettable portrayal of the heart-throb hero Mr. Darcy by Colin Firth, especially the now-infamous scene where he emerges dripping wet from a lake.

Chris Bird plays Mr Darcy. Photo courtesy of Peter Weston.

Andrew was intrigued when the chairman of Talisman Theatre, Nigel Elliot, asked if he knew of a good stage version of ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ Andrew recalls, "I didn't, but I immediately thought, Why don't I write one?”

Though he initially believed it would be a straightforward task to adapt his six-part TV script into a two-hour play, he soon discovered the challenge it posed. Nonetheless, Andrew is thrilled with the outcome and proudly states, "I'm very pleased with what I've achieved - and yes, I have managed to include a wet shirt scene!"

Writer Andrew Davies. Photo permission from Andrew Davies.

Collaborating with Stephen Duckham, Talisman Theatre's joint artistic director and writer, as well as the play's director Corrina Jacob, Andrew is particularly delighted with the talented company assembled for the production, including Gwen Davis as Elizabeth Bennet, Joanna Ryan McGough as Jane Bennet, Emily Carleton as Mary Bennet, and Chris Bird as Mr. Darcy.

Andrew hopes that this stage version will have a successful journey and eventually receive professional productions and he feels immense pride and happiness as a long-time Kenilworth resident and patron of the theatre that the World Premiere production of Pride and Prejudice will take place at the Talisman Theatre.

Director Corrina Jacob, an ardent fan of Jane Austen, was thrilled when she learned that Pride and Prejudice was being planned for Talisman's 2023 programme. She said, “Being a huge fan of Jane Austen, I was so excited that Pride and Prejudice was being planned for the Talisman’s 2023 programme - then Andrew Davis offered to write the script and I was even more determined to direct it.”

Joanna Ryan McGough and Adam Turner. Photo courtesy of Peter Weston.

Bringing Andrew's script to the stage for the very first time has been a tremendous privilege. She describes the project as a massive undertaking and has thoroughly enjoyed every step of the way. The presence of Andrew during the first read-through with the 20-strong cast was a highlight, and she eagerly looks forward to witnessing their hard work come to life on the Talisman stage.

There are high hopes that this new stage version will extend beyond its initial week-long run. Corrina is dedicated to maintaining the vibrant energy of the TV version, praised for infusing new life into the original, while staying true to the captivating aesthetics and enduring appeal of this beloved period drama.

Pride and Prejudice runs from Monday 26 June to Saturday 1 July. It is already sold out across the run with only a handful of tickets left for the Saturday matinee if you manage to catch them before they are gone. Tickets can be booked online via the website or by calling the Box Office on 01926 856548.


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