Monday, May 13, 2013

Of P&P Documentaries and S&S Musicals

I know my posting has been pretty slow lately... so here's something of a cheater post in which I basically just throw a bunch of videos at you.

Okay, well, not exactly.

First of all, I recently did a guest post on Elegance of Fashion about English Country Dancing. If you're interested please do stop over to read it! I was there informed in a comment by another blogger that there was soon to be a BBC documentary about something to do with Pride and Prejudice's Netherfield Ball, and determined to keep a lookout for it.

Well, it has appeared on YouTube, and I've had some fun the last couple of days watching it, and thought some of you might like to know about it too. :) It's really fascinating--named "Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball", what they're doing is recreating a truly Authentic Regency ball, based on the Netherfield Ball which is where a lot of important moments in P&P take place.  They show and tell lots of interesting things about food, costumes (including hair and makeup), manners and of course dancing--everything at the ball is supposed to be completely 1813. (Besides, I must suppose, the camera equipment. :P) Anyway, I can't recommend it without saying that there are some things in it I don't agree with/condone/appreciate, and now that I have said that here it is. ;)

I won't spend a long time talking about it, but if you watch it I'd be happy to discuss it with you in comments. :) I will say that I was a bit surprised they didn't have more dances than they did; I am quite sure no Regency ball would have only four or five dances, or whatever it was, and they kind of left out the fact that the couples would dance two dances at a time with each other. But all in all it was a real treat.

(Note: In case that video is eventually deleted due to privacy issues as sometimes happens, currently it's also on YouTube here and here.)

Secondly; I know I've talked over this with a couple blogging friends already, and I've noticed that when I do that after I do that I tend not to post about it. So here, I'm posting about it. In case any of you are interested in knowing more about the Jane Austen musicals... there are at least a few... the Denver Center has snatched up Sense and Sensibility: The Musical and for the last month or two it's been being performed. Not that I got to go to it or anything interesting like that, but I've been keeping tabs on their YouTube channel and there have been several clips that were fun to watch.

I'm not going to bother putting the videos here, I shall simply do linkies. Anyway, in order of when they were posted--
A Rehearsal
This is definitely not one of my favorite songs, and the clips where everyone is in costume are much more interesting. ;)

The Costumes

There was a picture of Romola Garai's Emma at one point in this and it made me squeal! ;) One of those dresses has simply gorgeous lace... I think it's Elinor's wedding dress.

A Little Clip with the Elinor and Marianne Actresses

Marianne's hair should be darker, but at least she's shorter than Elinor as the book tells us she's supposed to be. :)


If you just watch one clip, this should be the one. It shows random clips from various points which is really fun. (The song, by the way, is from the finale.) I can see that there is far too much of what I called "choreographed nonsense" for my taste, and it looks rather like "Sense and Silliness" could have been a more appropriate title, but I would still have loved to see it. Just because I love Jane Austen so much.

Clips and Random Attendees Talking

This one is fun too. And it has the tiniest clip of Edward's "I'll Believe Anything", which is one of the songs I like. I'm not very crazy about the Col. Brandon dude...

Most of "That's Not Love" with a bunch of random people in hats....

Didn't look into what event this was, I just watched it for the song. The lyrics are quite different than the one I'm used to (here), and I like the ending on the one I'm used to much better.

There are a couple other random things but those are the ones I found the most interesting. What else, what else... if you want to find out more about the actors/singers, I know they talk about it in this post (which is where I found out about this production in the first place). You can also visit the website for the musical itself here.

Well, that's about all for now. If all goes according to plan I should have some exciting news to share with you all next week... so stay tuned! ;) (Haha, it's just way too much fun being mysterious.)


Analiese said...

How fun! I agree with you that they probably had a lot more dances in one evening than four or five - especially if it was a major event of the year. :) The hairstyles were certianly pretty, but some seemed a little flyaway - I think that Jane and Lizzy's hairstyles from the 1995 version are much more authentic than those of the 2005 one. The dresses they used were pretty, and I found it fun they used so many soldier costumes. :D
The pudding and 'jello' molds were pretty neat! I found it odd eveyone was reaching across the table in front of people to get what they wanted?! Something makes me think they would have been more polite than that, but they must have got the idea from somewhere. :)
The lighting seemed realistic - it probably would have been just candles anyway, tho I understand why they would have wanted to make lighter settings in the movies.
A fun book on this subject is 'What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew' - it's got more fun facts and gives whole lists of customs for dances etc. and what they ate back then [which I personally find interesting :)].
I'll leave it at that. :D Check out my blog, Portrait of a Maiden, if you have time!

Melody said...

Well, depending on what you mean by 'flyaway'... it would be a little different doing hair without modern accessories and things like hairspray. ;) But yes, 1995 is definitely more authentic than 2005... always. ;)
I know, the table manners are funny aren't then? I think that is authentic though. The super polite and restricted meals of Victorian times hadn't quite come in yet. ;) In fact, they often ate with their fingers--sometimes bowls of water were part of the table settings for people to wash their hands with! Although considering they all belong to polite society, I doubt it would be too crazy... but really, it would be nice not to have to ask someone to pass something to you when you could get ti easier yourself by just standing and reaching a bit. ;)
You know, I really liked the just-candle lighting. I think they should do that when they make the movies... the 1996 (A&E) Emma was I think the closest. Candlelight is both complimentary and romantic. Heehee.
I have poked through that book before! It's very interesting.
And I do check out your blog from time to time. :)

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