Presenter Amanda Vickery will lead viewers through the action. She’ll be joined by Alastair Sooke and a team of experts who reconstruct the ball in loving detail, from music and dancing, to food and fashion.
Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, said: “Pride And Prejudice is a cornerstone of British cultural and literary heritage and, 200 years after it was published, it is fantastic to be able to bring BBC Two audiences a new look at the goings on behind the popular social event of the era.”
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.
Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor for Arts, said: “With the enduring popularity of the novel and its many television and film adaptations, this special programme for BBC Two offers a fresh perspective, exploring with depth and detail of one Regency Britain’s most crucial functions.”
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; and curator and expert on history of dress, Hilary Davidson. Stuart Marsden and Dr Anne Daye will choreograph the dancing and 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.
[Reporter: Mike Watkins]