Deal­ing with Austen’s pow­ers

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Theatre - Tanya MacNaughton

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.

Pic­ture: Mar­cus Whisson 555.coUUuWi­ty­cix.coU.Au d434196

Jes­sica Pater­son and Lin­coln Vick­ery are tak­ing on two of the great char­ac­ters of world lit­er­a­ture.

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