Dealing with Austen’s powers
THIRD year WAAPA acting students Jessica Paterson and Lincoln Vickery are grateful they have had since last November to prepare for their leading roles as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy in the play adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Although having read the novel many times, Paterson revisited the text over the summer break, as Vickery, unfamiliar with Austen, consumed every PrideandPrejudice- related book and film possible, including the Bollywood version.
“Obviously they’re really seminal characters,” Vickery said.
“And I’m 19 years old and from Perth, so to have to play one of the biggest sex icons... has been interesting, difficult and fun.”
Paterson, originally from Sydney, left her music career after graduating from Sydney Conservatorium to pursue her passion for acting, while Vickery grew up in Wembley and was accepted to WAAPA following graduation from Hale School.
He described Mr Darcy as a man with many principles who was strict on himself and everyone else.
“He also gets his principles a little bit shaken by some young girl who just comes out of nowhere,” Vickery said.
Meanwhile, Paterson described Elizabeth as a strong young woman, very confident in her own abilities and opinions.
“So the story is about her learning to embrace herself as a young woman in that time and also learning to change when she does have some of her beliefs confronted,” Paterson said.
Adapted by Simon Reade and directed by Adam Mitchell, Vickery said the play was clever and managed to keep a lot of Austen’s cynical humour.
“But it’s also full of joy and such a hopeful story about love,” Paterson said.
Jessica Paterson and Lincoln Vickery are taking on two of the great characters of world literature.