'Focussing on two greatly loved characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr and Mrs Bennet, set twenty five years before the novel.
'Mr James Bennet, only son of Robert Bennet, in his late twenties, has resisted marrying a suitable girl, because he resents his father’s attitude. James and Robert have a difficult relationship because James’ mother died giving birth to him, and Robert has never recovered. Robert does not seek happiness for James, but wishes to expedite a match to ensure male heirs, and keep his dreadful cousin Benedict Collins from inheriting. Collins has recently fathered a son.
'Robert, on the advice of his sister Mary, gives James six months to meet a suitable young woman, and has his lawyer draw up a contract to hold him to it. The family lawyer, George Gardiner, sees an opportunity to throw his attractive, but vulgar daughter in the way of the young landowner. He presents his daughter Emily. James is struck by her beauty, and by the fact that she is not on his father’s list of suitable choices – an added attraction. He woos her in secret. He is taken in by her vulgar ways, mistaking them for a spirited nature.
'Collins comes to stay and boast of his son's birth. James reveals he is engaged. Robert is furious with James, and George Gardiner for his deception. Benedict offers to advise James against marrying Emily. Robert decides he would rather James marry anyone at all than pass his estate to a Collins, so throws Benedict out and agrees to the marriage.
'At a final meeting of the families, it becomes apparent Emily is an unsuitable match for James. The play ends with his realisation that he has acted rashly and bound himself for life to the wrong woman.' (Publication summary)
Premiered on the 8th March 2014 at the Newcastle Theatre Company, 90 De Vitre Street, Lambton.