A tiny little background before I start the review. I have studied Philosophy and Hungarian Linguistics and Literature at the University. Jacques Derrida had a personal connection to my favourite professors both in Philosophy and Literature departments, so we heard and learnt a lot, and I mean a LOT about him. To be honest, I always ’hated’ him. I couldn’t understand a word he said… I have never thought that one day I will refer to him outside my academic studies. At the age of 30, thanks to the most extraordinary performance, called Mr Darcy Loses the Plot by the Lipservice Theatre, there is a chance that Derrida makes sense.
Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding are the creators and performers of the show. They take the texts (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Gaskell’s, Daphne du Maurier’s and Beatrix Potter’s ) apart and create something brand-new, which is new, funny, sometimes crazy hybrid. This play is a perfect example of deconstruction, intertextuality, postmodern. The play also works with meta-reference: Darcy speaks to the audience, comments and explaines things. Quite a surreal play, I should say.
All parts played by the two actresses. Maggie Fox plays Mr Darcy, Jane Bennet, Maxim de Winters, Mrs Danvers and many more. Among others, Sue Ryding plays Jane Austen, a modern day author, Elizabeth Bennet, Charles Bingley, Mr Wickham, Mrs De Winter.
We have a modern day author who works on her iPad, saving her story to iCloud, talking to her dad on iPhone. She writes a story about Jane Austen who is writing Pride and Prejudice and somehow during the writing process Mr Darcy appears and writes his own story. He mixes everything up and ends up in du Maurier’s Rebecca, in one of Potter’s tales and Gaskell’s story. The question is, can Jane Austen clean up the mess?
Mr Darcy is obsessed with swimming (the funniest part in the performance, when he constantly referes to the famous BBC scene). The way they solved the swimming and by the way the dancing parts are amazing. How very clever! The set, costumes, props, lighting, everything is brilliant. The music is beautiful and original, a shame it’s not available on youtube.
However Lyotard, Bakhtin, Derrida are jumping for joy and clapping in their coffins I am sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The audience has to be open-minded to enjoy the performance.
They are on tour. More about them HERE.