Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
by Brian Coats, Education Programs Associate
NOTE: This Play Guide may contain mild spoilers about the story of the show. If you like to be completely surprised by the play, you may wish to wait until after seeing it to read the Play Guide.
November 29 – December 24, 2017
Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy: As the hostess of this year’s Christmas gathering, she is ready to welcome her family to Pemberley and introduce them to some unconventional holiday traditions.
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Elizabeth’s husband finds himself completely enamored over his wife and her decision to have a live tree inside the house.
Mrs. Jane Bingley: Elizabeth’s sister visits Pemberley with her husband while seven months pregnant with her first child.
Mr. Charles Bingley: Jane’s husband and Mr. Darcy’s best friend finds himself questioning his readiness to be a father.
Miss Mary Bennet: Elizabeth and Jane’s younger sister arrives at Pemberley alone, but finds herself taken with another solitary stranger.
Lord Arthur de Bourgh: Mr. Darcy’s cousin arrives from Oxford and wishes nothing more than to return to his studies, until he finds a kindred spirit at Pemberley.
Mrs. Lydia Wickham: The youngest of Elizabeth’s sisters arrives at Pemberley without her husband and sets her playful sights on Lord de Bourgh.
Miss Anne de Bourgh: The daughter of the late Lady Catherine de Bourgh who unexpectedly arrives at Pemberley with some shocking news for everyone.
What's the Story?
It has been two years since Miss Elizabeth Bennet married Mr. Darcy and became Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy, moving to Pemberley to become the mistress of the great estate. Now it’s Christmas, a time for family and festivities, and that is exactly what the Bennets plan to bring to Elizabeth and Darcy’s home for the holidays! All of your favorite characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice return in this delightful holiday sequel: there’s Jane and Bingley, of course, and even wild Lydia arrives to cause some terrible excitement.
This time, its middle-sister Mary who gets her time in the spotlight. With all of her sisters having left home, Mary has become quite an accomplished and mature woman. When she arrives at Pemberley, intent to peruse the vast library and travel the world through the pages of books, she has no idea that she’s about to meet her match in Darcy’s visiting cousin, Lord Arthur de Bourgh. Music, mayhem and mistletoe will make this Christmas at Pemberley one to remember!
Jane Austen: Alive and Lively
Jane Austen, the notable novelist who wrote such literary classics as Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Pride and Prejudice lived a relatively short life, but her legacy has proved to be everlasting. Not only are her novels studied and enjoyed by men and women of all ages, but adaptations of her works and her worlds continue to delight audiences of all ages and interests. Her characters are iconic literary figures with fairly modern sensibilities that continue to act as role models for avid readers of Austen’s novels.
Now, Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon have revived the characters of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for a whimsical and witty holiday romp through the halls of Pemberley in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. This isn’t the first time that Austen’s prideful and prejudiced characters have been reimagined: for example, a modern-day Lizzie and Darcy came to life in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, an award-winning web series in which American college student Lizzie Bennet blogged about her life and her unfortunate circumstances for all the world to see. Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley plays much closer to the original Regency-era novel, and Gunderson and Melcon have created a rich and inviting work that sets a modern tone while still taking place in the grand period of Austen’s original works. Fans of the novel will be overjoyed to see their favorite characters’ story continue, and those new to the works of Austen will find themselves with some new favorite characters.
Jane Austen may have died in 1817 at the young age of 41, but she continues to live on 200 years later through her delightful characters. Whether it is through adaptations of her novels or insights into her private life, interest in the famed novelist continues to live on. For all intents and purposes, she is very much alive in the hearts and minds of her fans, and quite a lively inspiration as well.
We invite you to join us at The Rep for this wonderful work of charm, wit, and Christmas magic!