Being Mr. Wickham, again
Over the past four years, the British actor Adrian Lukis has spent a lot of time being Mr. Wickham.
In late 2019, Lukis – who, as Janeites do not need reminding, played the villainous George Wickham in the BBC’s much-loved 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice – began starring in a one-man show imagining the afterlife of Jane Austen’s callous seducer. In early 2021, the play, Being Mr. Wickham, which Lukis co-wrote with novelist/ historian Catherine Curzon, was livestreamed worldwide and toured a handful of UK venues; in 2022, Lukis performed the show aboard an ocean liner.
Now American audiences have their first chance to experience Lukis’ Wickham in person: Being Mr. Wickham will have a short off-Broadway run in New York City, as part of Brits Off Broadway, an annual series of guest productions from smallish UK companies. Tickets to Being Mr. Wickham, which runs from May 25 through June 11, cost $44.
Reviews of the show’s various iterations have been good, and I’m hoping to get to a performance this time. The hour-long play imagines a middle-aged Wickham taking his chance to “set the record straight” about the events of Pride and Prejudice and to explain what happened next. Sounds fun, no?
Janeites who can’t make it to New York will have another chance to see Lukis’ performance in November: A video of the production will be shown during the Jane Austen Society of North America’s Annual General Meeting in Denver, followed by a live Q&A with Lukis.