Thursday, 19 July 2018

Could you be the next Mr Darcy?

THE search is on to find a dashing new Mr Darcy for HAODS’ autumn production — a musical version of Pride and Prejudice.

THE search is on to find a dashing new Mr Darcy for HAODS’ autumn production — a musical version of Pride And Prejudice, writes Lesley Potter.

Director Julie Huntington and her team are searching for a young(ish) man with the right combination of talents to play one of English literature’s most popular characters.

She said: “He has to be handsome, of course. Everyone has their own idea of their Darcy — (mine is Colin Firth) — but he needs to have universal appeal, so that people can look at him and say, ‘he could be my Darcy’.

“Also, he has to look sympathetic — he’s got that sort of quality of wanting to slap him at first, and then wanting to mother him and cuddle him the next minute. He’s obnoxious to begin with, but when you realise why you have sympathy for him.”

She said the potential actor also has to have good chemistry with Elizabeth, and be able to sing.

No pressure, then, guys.

However, the good news is that men in their thirties or even forties will be considered for the part.

She said: “Mr Darcy is in his early thirties in Jane Austen’s original book, but these days a man in his forties can get away with looking that age.”

The production was chosen to celebrate the bicentenary of the publication of the book. The script has been adapted for the stage by Bernard J Taylor, who has also written most of the songs, with additional lyrics by Michael Yelland and Frank Bacon. Taylor has written 12 musicals altogether, including an adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.

The songs are all original numbers written for the show, and though they are mostly unknown Mrs Huntington said this was in fact an advantage.

“We listened to some of the songs and they are good fun, while other numbers are really romantic,” she said. “The beauty of it is that we can give the songs to our musical director and he can put his own stamp on them and make something that is really lovely and clean and fresh.”

All the parts for this production, in fact, are still up for grabs and HAODS is inviting budding actors to attend readings on May 15 and 23 at the Kenton Theatre Studio at 7.45pm.

She said: “You don’t have to be a HAODS member to audition, but obviously if you get the part you would have to join the group.”

HAODS is also hosting a Lady Catherine de Bourgh afternoon tea at the Studio on Saturday, May 11 at 3pm. Tea is £5 including cucumber sandwiches.

For more details about the readings and auditions, contact Julie Huntington on 07831 546047 or email hunting311@aol.com

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