The Lizzie Bennett Diaries

When I first got cast in “An Evening at Home with the Austens” I started trawling the internet for blogs, fan fiction, websites and videos based on Jane Austen’s work, as I felt I was a bit rusty! It was then I first came across  The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but only made it to about episode 3 when I thought there were probably more useful ways for me to spend my preparation time. Like learning lines. But now, in the period between our first performance back in April, and our mini-tour in July, I have had the time to revisit the diaries. I started yesterday. I’m now on Episode 51.

Does this count as an addiction?

As well as this, I’m also re-reading Pride and Prejudice. Why both at once?  Because Little White Dove set it as a challenge! I’m only on the Extended Version as I don’t own either the film or the BBC mini-series. And as you can tell by how many videos I’ve watched, I’m doing pretty well!

My thoughts so far, on both The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and my re-reading of Pride and Prejudice.

I was wary of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries when I first started watching them, and didn’t expect them to be quite as funny, well written and truthful to the story of the book. I think the choices of how to update it are brilliant – issues around debt rather than female inheritance, the decision on whether to take a high paying job which means leaving your education rather than marrying for practicality and there being a visiting swim team rather than the militia.

As I’ve mentioned before, the Mr Bennet and Mrs Bennet relationship is one of my favourites, even though sometimes(alright, a lot of the time) it seems like they don’t like each other – or their children – much. I’ve always read it as them being an exaggeration of what parents are – so the fact that they are only seen in the Diaries as Lizzie and one or other member of the cast dressed up as them, captures that perfectly.(I don’t know if they will appear later on – I really hope they do!)

I also love the Charlotte and Lizzie relationship and that you see that argument when Charlotte agrees to take the job. I think this version treats Charlotte better than any other I’ve seen – as a clever, pragmatic and funny woman rather than as the dowdy and dull one she is often portrayed as. She is Elizabeth Bennet’s best friend – surely that is enough of an argument to show how interesting she is? Anyway – I could go on defending Charlotte on for a very long time but now onto my surprise at Mr Darcy.

I did not remember how much you hear of Mr Darcy, and of his opinions, thoughts and feelings for Elizabeth from very early on in the book. I have always remembered it as being from Elizabeth’s point of view, so the reader agrees with her until he turns out to be nice. Whereas actually the reader knows he really likes her all along! My mind was boggled. In terms of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I still haven’t seen him yet…and this version actually IS from Lizzie’s point of view. But, obviously, we all know how it will turn out in the end!

And finally Jane Bennet. In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries she is amazingly sweet. I love her and Elizabeth’s relationship, and her heartbreak at Bing Lee leaving without telling her nearly made me cry. I felt for this Jane more than the Jane in the book. I’m not sure why, I just do.

And before I finish – Lydia is hilarious. When I’m done with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I’m moving on to Lydia’s 🙂 

Anyway, I’m hope that slightly mixed up comparison between the two was an enjoyable read! Tomorrow you’ll start to here more about the production I’m in “An Evening at Home with the Austens”


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