(Choreographer and Actress playing Lydia Bennet)
The Acting Collective
The Acting Collective was started 6 months ago by Christianne Van Wijk. She put the word out via Facebook about doing a stage production of Pride and Prejudice which caught a lot of peoples attention. From the first meeting you could tell it was going to be something special, that’s where the idea of the acting collective came from – the fact that you could share technique, ideas and thoughts with other actors without limitation. In terms of putting on Pride and Prejudice, we have a cast of 16 and everybody has a secondary role in the production side of things, it has made us close as a cast and a team.
We have a cast of 16 professional actors, with 19 roles in the show, three of our actors have double roles. A dedicated and hard working group who all have a secondary role in the production side of the show be it marketing, administration or publicity etc. Each actor is perfectly cast for their role, our director Terry Hooper has done a truly fantastic job at casting this show and we are very lucky to have such a highly talented group of actors who always give 110% in every aspect of the show.
We are using a script written by Jon Jory which favours our directors style with minimalist set and the cast moving the set, which comprises of a few chairs and tables. It also suits us doing an outdoor promenade style of show which we will be doing for our first two performances at the Howick Historical Village. We actually take our audience from Longbourn to the different locations of London, Netherfield and Pemberley etc. We are very fortunate to have such a brilliant director in Terry Hooper and producer in Christianne Van Wijk, as well as an extremely talented crew headed up by Julia, Marianne and Nick. We have also been very fortunate to have all orignial music composed by the talented Erin Fagan and superb costumes made or sourced by Erika Schaab Farrant. I myself have also had the great privilege of choreographing all of the regency balls.
Preparing for Roles
Each actor prepares for their role differently, but as a cast we have shared research with each other. There was a lot of research done; some have trained in corsets to get used to having perfect posture, everyone has learnt to dance in the regency way, as well as having a dialect coach to work on accents and pronunciation, and a lot of work has been done to maintain the manners and decorum of the time. We are trying very hard to be as accurate as possible with these things.