Deborah Yaffe

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Zooming Mr. Darcy

By Deborah Yaffe, Sep 3 2020 01:00PM

Dispiriting as the last six months have been, Janeites have encountered some notable silver linings in the gloomy cloud cover. We’ve been treated to several virtual Jane Austen festivals, an online production of Laura Wade’s acclaimed adaptation of The Watsons, even a Zoom-enabled pub quiz.


Next up is “Pride and Prejudice: A Virtual Play,” produced by Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre, a thirty-eight-year old company that specializes in theatrical adaptations of literary works. Lifeline has done P&P three times before, most recently in its 2011-12 season, but this version appears to be a special pandemic edition adapted to the constraints of Zoom and social distancing.


Beginning on September 10, the show will be available for viewing over four weekends in September and October; ticket buyers can watch as often as they like from Thursday through Sunday of the chosen weekend. Although the suggested ticket price is $20 per household, viewers are invited to pay whatever they wish.


The forty-five-second trailer available online gives few clues to the nature of the adaptation, although the actors’ contemporary clothes and ubiquitous cell phones suggest a modern-day update rather than a period drama. No complaints here—I love a good modern-day Jane Austen update! Bring on the silver linings!


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