Images have been released from rehearsals for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s production of Pride and Prejudice.
Following sell-out performances in 2013, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s acclaimed production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, adapted for the stage by Simon Reade, returns this year to close the 2016 Summer Season ahead of a major UK Tour in September. Opening at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, the tour will then visit Norwich, Cambridge, Salford, Leicester, Woking, Truro, Birmingham and Richmond, with further dates in 2017. There will be a press night at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley on Thursday 22 September at 7.30pm.
Pride and Prejudice is the third Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production to tour the UK, following their smash hit productions of To Kill a Mockingbird in 2014/15 and Lord of the Flies in 2015/16.
Felicity Montagu will play Mrs. Bennet. Perhaps best known for playing the long-suffering PA Lynn in I’m Alan Partridge, a role she played in both the TV series and the 2013 film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Felicity was most recently seen playing Mrs Mainwaring in the 2016 film remake of Dad’s Army. Other notable roles include Perpetua in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Caroline Bosman in ITV’s Doc Martin and Sue 2 in BBC’s Nighty Night. Other film credits include I Want Candy and Confetti, and other television credits include The Durrells (ITV), Mapp and Lucia (BBC), and three series of Hank Zipzer (CBBC). On stage, Felicity has starred in Quartermaine’s Terms alongside Rowan Atkinson (Wyndham’s Theatre), The Shaughraun (National Theatre) and Angels in America (National Theatre).
One of the most universally loved and quintessentially English novels of all time, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of the Bennet family and their five unmarried daughters. A family of humble means, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet see the perfect opportunity to improve their social standing when the wealthy Mr. Bingley and his eligible friend Mr. Darcy move to the neighbourhood. But while Bingley takes an immediate liking to their eldest daughter Jane, the dismissive Darcy instantly clashes with the Bennet’s headstrong second daughter, Elizabeth. As the Bennet sisters haplessly search for love in Jane Austen’s ultimate romantic comedy, it is Mr Darcy who unwittingly finds his match.
First published in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in English literature, selling over 20 million copies and spawning numerous adaptations, most notably the 1940 film starring Laurence Olivier and the 1995 BBC adaptation starring Colin Firth. The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Pride and Prejudice was first staged in 2013 to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the novel’s publication.
Pride and Prejudice is directed by Deborah Bruce, whose theatre credits include The Mysteries and Helen (Globe Theatre); Ingredient X and Made of Stone (Royal Court); Scarborough (Edinburgh Fringe First Award, Assembly Rooms/Royal Court); Blame (Arcola / York Theatre Royal) and Mrs Warren’s Profession (Bristol Old Vic). It is designed by Max Jones, whose credits include The Crucible (Manchester Royal Exchange); The Tempest (Globe Theatre); The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC) and Of Mice and Men (West Yorkshire Playhouse). Costume design is by Tom Piper, who designed the iconic Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red poppy installation at the Tower of London, commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. His theatre design credits include Red Velvet (Tricycle Theatre and West End); Love For Love (RSC) and The King’s Speech (UK Tour).
Pride and Prejudice is adapted for the stage by Simon Reade. Simon is currently Producer for Filter Theatre, and was previously Artistic Director at the Bristol Old Vic where he directed his own adaptations of Geraldine McCaughrean’s Not the End of the World and Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, which has played in London and on tour extensively.