Darlington Hippodrome – 11 October 2021
George Wickham is 60, however on a good day – a VERY good day – he can pass for 40. After an argument with Lydia, his wife, he regales us with tales of his life since they eloped and Elizabeth Bennett married Mr Darcy.
This one hour, one man show starring Adrian Lukis (who can most certainly pass for 40 every day) is one of those rare joys, where you could sit and listen for much longer. Because the time passed so quickly whilst we were enthralled by his tales.
Written by Lukis and Catherine Curzon, Wickham sits alone reminiscing. He is still a rogue, but with good looks, a twinkle in eye and his charm it’s easy to ignore the roguish qualities that Jane Austin wrote about in Pride and Prejudice. Sat in his favourite room, watching the comings and goings of the neighbours, drinking claret and telling us all his story, acknowledging the audience and making us laugh along the way.
We learn about his childhood, his mother abandoning him, his miserable time at school and how he always had an eye for the main chance. How Mr Darcy Snr wanted him to go into the Church, but Mr Darcy junior paid him off and how he spent that money on wine, women and song.
His marriage with Lydia lasted because they understand each other and make themselves laugh. They’re children are ones he can be proud of and his relationship with his in-laws (The Bennetts and the Darcy’s) have endured.
This is certainly not a man feeling sorry for himself. The high jinx and lows sit together comfortably as we hear about his heroics at Waterloo, where he lost his best friend Denny and followed by a bawdy story of seduction.
“Am I to be the villain of my own story?” Wickham asks, the answer is most certainly not
Being Mr Wickham is on tour around the UK now, make sure you get the chance to watch it