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An Afternoon and Evening with Mr Wickham!

Reading Pride and Prejudice at the Jane Austen Festival
I'm at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath this week, and was very honoured to be part of the Pride and Prejudice reading that took place on Sunday.
The opening chapters were read by the wonderful actors, Adrian Lukis, who played Mr Wickham in the 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, and Caroline Langrishe, the well-known actress of film, stage and television.
I love reading aloud - it's always been a pleasure of mine ever since I was a little girl, but I hadn't really thought about what a huge challenge this was going to be until I actually sat down on the same row of chairs as these wonderful actors! I'm sure appearing on the same bill as Adrian Lukis, Caroline Langrishe and Maggie Ollerenshaw would be the dream of most would-be actors, and all of a sudden the enormity of the whole event struck hard! Anyone who really knows me will appreciate how nervous I felt - I really have to make myself volunteer for speaking events - I'd much rather hide in a corner, but I decided a while ago that I would try and embrace those things that frighten me. With a bottle of water secreted in my bag as defence against a dry mouth, I tried to tell myself it would all be okay.
Adrian Lukis was fantastic - his rendition of Mr and Mrs Bennet both funny and memorable, and then Caroline Langrishe followed on with equal brilliance. Their ability to capture the characters was spot-on, and the audience reacted accordingly, laughing out loud as they interpreted Jane Austen's wonderful writing.
Also reading was an actress well-known in this country for playing all sorts of roles, Maggie Ollerenshaw, as well as the lovely Sophie who presented the last readathon at the Jane Austen Centre, and an up and coming actor, Jack Collard, who I'm sure will be playing Mr Darcy one day!
With Adrian Lukis and Caroline Langrishe
Waiting for my turn to read chapter five was agonising, and my knees were knocking together as I stood in front of the large crowd, but it was soon over - thank you, Jane Austen for writing short chapters - and I could return to my seat to wait for my turn again.
Thanks go to Joana Starnes for the photo of me!

In the evening, we were treated to another fantastic performance from Adrian Lukis and Caroline Langrishe who performed a set of duologues - all the wonderful scenes from Jane Austen's novels. They are both so generous with their time, and so charming - I was lucky enough to have my photo taken with them, and they signed autographs afterwards for all their fans!

Jack Collard