Nicole beats hopefuls to land Austen’s most iconic female role

LURGAN woman Nicole McKeown is delighted to have been chosen to play one of English literature’s most revered female characters on stage.

Thursday, 23rd August 2012, 11:00 am

The 20-year-old will play Miss Elizabeth Bennet in a new stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic romantic comedy ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

Nicole was chosen from among dozens of hopefuls including some of the biggest names in theatre to play the iconic role.

The production, produced by Kalediscope, is being staged in Belfast’s Crescent Arts Centre, starting tonight (Thursday), tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.

The former St Michael’s Grammar School pupil says that family and friends will be there on the opening night to cheer her on.

“I’ve been rehearsing since the beginning of August. It’s an amazing story and to play such a independent female role, it’s fantastic.

“The production follows what happens in the book so closely, so fans will not be disappointed,” explained Nicole.

The production is a bit of a Lurgan affair with local woman Sinead Owens managing the operation.

Nicole now joins the list of notable actresses who have played Elizabeth Bennett over the decades both off and on the stage and the small screen. Colin Firth blasted onto the scene as Mr Darcy in the BBC version in the 1990s and Kiera Knightly’s heart warming portrayal of Elizabeth in the Hollywood version of just a few years ago.

And now the stage is set for Pride and Prejudice to take the theatre world by storm closer to home. The kalediscope production has been adapted by writer and director Kerry Rooney.

Kerry, who is also the play’s director, said he chose Nicole to play the role of Elizabeth because “Nicole has that really rare ability to portray both strength and weakness at the same time.

“There are so many sides to the character of Elizabeth Bennet that we needed an actress with real range to play the part but also someone whose own character could shine through and who could win the audiences hearts as well as Mr Darcy’s.”

The UK premiere of Pride and Prejudice starring Nicole McKeown will run for just three nights at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast on August 23, 24 and 25 before going on to conquer the world. So don’t miss out, there are still a few tickets left.