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Greenlit: Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball, BBC2

Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball w/t (1 x90′) – The recreation of a Regency era ball in honour of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s popular novel.

Presenter Amanda Vickery (The Many Lovers Of Jane Austen) will lead us through the action. She’ll be joined by Alastair Sooke (Modern Masters) and a team of experts who reconstruct the ball in loving detail, from music and dancing, to food and fashion.

Across 90 minutes, the team of experts will weave together the planning and rehearsal of a typical early 19th century ball, look back at first-hand testimony of ball-goers of the time, and end with a stunning, authentic recreation based on Austen’s Netherfield Ball, a turning point in the romance between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy.

Pride And Prejudice: Having A Ball will take an intelligent look at the social history of Austen’s world and explore how, as well as drinking, dancing and jollity, balls had an important purpose – to help women find a husband. Playing an important role in Austen’s novels, the pomp and excitement of a lively ball would drive forward the plot, explore and reveal character and shine a light on the society of the day.

The team of experts who will play a key role in the recreation include:

  • Food historian Ivan Day
  • Professor Jeanice Brooks and Dr Wiebke Thormahlen, who will advise on the music and orchestral elements
  • Curator and expert on history of dress, Hilary Davidson
  • Stuart Marsden and Dr Anne Daye will choreograph the dancing
  • Literary expert John Mullan, Professor of English at University College London, will be on hand to ensure the ball’s accuracy and authenticity to Austen’s work.

BBC Learning has contributed to the funding of the project and has commissioned a range of additional supporting material, including Regency recipes devised by Ivan Day for the BBC Food website. There will also be a curated Regency art feature for the Your Paintings website, period fashion and dance resources for the BBC History site and additional materials by the presenters for adult reading groups.

Channel: BBC2

Producer: Optomen

TX: Easter 2013

Source: BBC press release

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