Jane Austen’s world turned upside down in Lancaster Grand show

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If you’ve never experienced the sublime silliness of LipService, now’s your opportunity to enjoy their latest comedy classic, Mr Darcy Loses the Plot.

Jane Austen sits writing, her quill scurrying across the vellum, she is dreaming up Darcy, a proud, lip curling, handsome creation.

But then a door squeaks, a visitor approaches and Jane hastily hides her work. Mr Darcy is left dangling.

Left to his own devices he embroiders his own storyline while his creator stitches her quilt. When Jane returns she finds the plot has moved on and Darcy is dancing to a different tune.

Increasingly he becomes fed up with his role in Pride and Prejudice, he is arrogant, unsociable and the girls do not fall for him.

By contrast the dashing Mr Wickham has a much more exciting plot line. Darcy dives into a lake and emerges in a totally different story, he is suddenly Maxim de Winter in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Finding himself on trial for murder he hastes back to Jane Austen, only to find the glorious Mr Wickham has eloped into another story, he turns up as the Foxy Whiskered Gentleman in Beatrix Potter’s Jemima Puddleduck.

Mr Darcy also makes an appearance in Mary Barton and Jane Eyre before deciding he was better off where he started.

All this is acted on stage by the award-winning comedy duo LipService, makers of Withering Looks and Inspector Norse.

Mr Darcy Loses the Plot is written and performed by Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding and directed by Mark Whitelaw.

Maggie and Sue have been writing and performing together since 1985. They have written 19 original comedies for the stage and had their own comedy series on BBC Radio 4.

LipService explore the world of women writers, scribbling in secret or under pseudonyms, squeezing in their writing among the hustle and bustle of taking tea, choosing chintz and having the vapours.

LipService has won many awards over the years, most recently The Stage Door Foundation Award for Excellence.

They have twice won The Critics Award for Comedy. Their Radio 4 comedy series was nominated for a Writers Guild Award.

The comedy features quilt work specially created by community groups for this production.

Mr Darcy Loses the Plot will be coming to the Lancaster Grand Theatre on Thursday January 26 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15 for adults and £14 for concessions.

Tickets are available on 01524 64695 or by visiting www.lancastergrand.co.uk.