Pride and Prejudice and Christmas: Persephone holiday show a Jane Austen sequel

Photo credit: Mitch Larsen (left) and Emily Dallas (right) feature in ‘Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley’ at Persephone Theatre until Dec. 21, 2023. (Olivia Swerhone-Wick/Persephone Theatre)

Persephone Theatre is bringing the spirit Regency Era to the stage for the holiday season with a show inspired by a classic novel.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley serves as a sequel to the beloved Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. Set two years after the events of the novel, the play by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon focuses on Mary, the middle of the five Bennet sisters, as family and guests both old and new find their way home for the holidays.

Sam Fairweather, who plays the impetuous youngest Bennet sibling Lydia, said there is never a question that this show is full of relatable holiday spirit.

“Once you get into the play, you see it’s really a classic story of a family coming together for Christmas,” she said. “Yes, it’s set in the 1800s … but it’s very much a familiar story.”

Fairweather said she wasn’t an Austen fan before earning a role in this show, but since being cast as Lydia she’s absorbed multiple different versions of Pride and Prejudice to get an idea for her character.

As she puts it, there are plenty of “little nuggets” from the show that tie back to the book, but there’s plenty to love even for newcomers to Austen’s story.

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