Ballarat National Theatre

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a community theatre company in the midst of isolation shall be in want of a production.
Ballarat National Theatre is proud to announce the creation of their first online production; a dramatic reading of Jane Austen’s beloved classic Pride and Prejudice. Voiced by the returning cast of the sell-out 2018 BNT production and welcoming a number of new voices; each episode will feature 2-3 chapters and transport you to 19th century England and the immerse you in the lives, loves and misunderstandings of the Bennets of Longbourn.


Finding a husband is hardly Elizabeth Bennet's most urgent priority. But with four sisters, an overzealous match-making mother, and a string of unsuitable suitors, it's difficult to escape the subject. When the independent-minded Elizabeth meets the handsome but enigmatic Mr. Darcy, she is determined not to let her feelings triumph over her own good sense -- but the truth turns out to be slipperier than it seems. In a society where subtle snubs and deceit proliferate, is it possible for Elizabeth and Darcy to look beyond his pride and her prejudice, and to make the best match of all?

About the Novel

"I want to tell you that I have got my own darling Child from London . . . The Advertisement is in our paper to day for the first time . . . ." —Jane Austen, letter to Cassandra Austen, January 29, 1813
According to family tradition, Jane Austen began writing First Impressions, the novel we know today as Pride and Prejudice, in October 1796 at the age of 20. She completed it in August 1797, just 10 months later. Though initially rejected by publishes, Austen continued to write; publishing Sense and Sensibility and penning the novel that would later become known as Northanger Abbey. After significant revision, where Austen ‘lop’t and crop’t’ the manuscript, and retitling her story, Austen successfully published Pride and Prejudice on 28th January 1813. The three volume set was priced at 18 shillings and the first edition sold out in less than a year.
Favourable reviews by literary critics and word-of-mouth promotion made Pride and Prejudice fashionable and from the beginning, enthusiasm for Pride and Prejudice centred on its realism, wit and social commentary. Critics and readers alike were charmed by the heroine, Elizabeth Bennet. In a letter to her sister, Cassandra, written on the day the novel was published, January 29, 1813, Jane Austen's pride in her accomplishment is evident: "I must confess that I think her [Elizabeth] as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print, & how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know."

About the Adaptation

The novel Pride and Prejudice has long retained the fascination of modern readers, consistently appearing near the top of lists of "most-loved books" among both literary scholars and the general public. This digital adaptation is incredibly faithful to Austen’s original work, with modifications to the classic tale intended only to create dialogue for characters where previously there was only narration. They have given voice to poignant moments and hilarious misunderstandings, as well as provided insight into the hearts, hopes and true natures of these treasured characters. The writers have endeavoured above all, to preserve the truth and spirit of the beloved classic. It is their hope that you will be transported to Austen’s world, as they have been.

About the Director

Liana Skewes is a graduate of 16th Street Actors Studio and member of Ballarat National Theatre. She has performed many times with BNT as well as with theatre companies from our region including Someone New Theatre Company, Skin of our Teeth and Tripwire. She has also worked as a performer at Sovereign Hill. Liana’s creative skill set includes singing, martial arts, photography and writing, the latter of which she will be doing in order to work with the production team to expand and develop the dialogue sections of the novel for our online production.

Directed by Liana Skewes and adapted for audio by Liana Skewes and Olivia French.

cast liana skewescast olivia french



Narrator - Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet  Olivia French
Mr Bennet  Chris Hiscock
Mrs Bennet  Elizabeth Hardiman
Jane Bennet  Liana Skewes
Mary Bennet  Kirily McKellor
Catherine “Kitty” Bennet  Amelia Pawsey
Lydia Bennet  Daisy Kennington
Fitzwilliam Darcy Ryan O'Connor
Georgiana Darcy Tess Parker
Colonel Fitzwilliam Jolan Walker
Charles Bingley Paul Roberts
Caroline Bingley Marli van der Bijl
Lousia Hurst Lana Spencer
Mr Wickham Elliot Gale
Lady Catherine de Bourgh Elly Krieg
Mr Collins Shannon Nicholls
Charlotte Lucas Ebony McClain
Sir William Lucas Nick Barker-Pendree
Maria Lucas Alana Denham-Preston
Young Lucas Sibling Pippa Asome
Mr Gardiner Tim Murphy
Mrs Gardiner Ang Cuy
Mr Denny James Wait
Mrs Reynolds Mary-Rose McLaren
Mrs Hill Emma Wood
Butler Jordan Ryan


Creative Team

Director  Liana Skewes
Assistant Director  Olivia French
Production Manager Elizabeth Bradford
Writers  Elizabeth Bradford
  Olivia French
  Liana Skewes


Click Here to listen to the Podcast

pride prejudice poster

Click Here to view the Pride and Prejudice 2018 Production