Directed by Mario Gonzales
With David O. Stein, Randy Russell, Darek Burkowski & Eden Neuendorf
(with sincere regrets to Ms. Austen)
Captain Wickham: Of His Majesty’s Army. Marries Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Cad.
Sir John Willoughby: Romantic poet cad. Breaks Marianne’s heart in Sense and Sensibility and abandons Colonel Brandon’s young ward after seducing and impregnating her.
Mr. William Elliot: Upwardly mobile rich cad in Persuasion who is trying to marry Anne Elliot but simultaneously carrying on an affair with Mrs. Clay.
Elizabeth Darcy: Born Elizabeth Bennet. Sassy, witty, an obstinate headstrong girl.
Cast of Characters
Born Elizabeth Bennet. Sassy, witty, an obstinate headstrong girl.Scene A Gentleman’s Club in England, circa 1812
Wickham enters excitedly and salutes his friends!
WICKHAM Willoughby! Elliot! Pay up, lads, I’ve won handily.
The devil you say. Not hardly!
WICKHAM Pay up, pay up. No hard feelings, chums.
ELLIOT Not without proof, Wickham!
WICKHAM Rather ungentlemanly, but since you require it- here.
Shows wedding ring. Men put money on a table.
Ms. Bennet liked it so much, she put a ring on it.
WILLOUGHBY I’ll be buggered.
WICKHAM Wouldn’t be the first time, Willy.
Can’t believe it! Lizzie said yes?! How’d you do it?
WICKHAM Charm. Deception. A romantic elopement to Scotland. “It is a truth universally acknowledged-
WILLOUGHBY, ELLIOT, AND WICKHAM That a dastardly fellow in possession of a large ego must be in want of heroine to destroy.”
The men chest bump, flip coat tails, and fluff their mutton chops. They regain Regency demeanor.
WICKHAM Now hand over the winnings, you stingy bastards.
WILLOUGHBY Hang on then, not so fast. I’ve earned my share.
Shows his ring.
ELLIOT Not you, too! Are we addressing the new Mr. Marianne Dashwood?
Oh, er… no, change of plan, but it’s Sir Willoughby, if you’d be so kind.
ELLIOT Sir! You’re a liar.
WILLOUGHBY Am not. Broke Marianne’s heart, married Lady Grey. Fifty thousands pounds per annum thankyouverymuch.
ELLIOT I’m green with envy.
WICKHAM No luck with your cousin, the Elliot girl, then?
ELLIOT Anne caught me playing a sly game of “crowning King George” with Mrs. Clay.
WICKHAM Tough luck, old friend, but I’m not sure you were cut out for this club anyway-
ELLIOT See here! What do you mean? I’m as fit to be in this rascally society as either of you.
WICKHAM Not really.
WILLOUGHBY Oh, Wicky, be a good winner. Don’t kick the fellow when he’s down. Let it go.
ELLIOT No. I want to know what you meant. Why shouldn’t I be here? You let all the other rotters in.
WICKHAM You’re not a dashing military man.
Wickham salutes, “God save the King.”
Or a quintessential romantic Byron type-
Willoughby drapes over furniture.
WILLOUGHBY “She walks in beauty like the night-“
WICKHAM You’re here on a technicality.
ELLIOT Rubbish! What are the rules of Austen’s Bad Boys? 1)Must look ravishing in ascot and tight pantaloons. Check. 2) Mutton chops. Check. 3)Must seem charming and appear to be put-upon at the beginning of the novel. The Elliots’ snubbed me! I’m the underdog!
WILLOUGHBY It’s not romantic like being “disinhereted by Darby”-
Willoughby gestures to Wickham.
WICKHAM Darcy. Or being “desperately poor” like Willoughby, but it’ll do. However, there is Rule 4.
ELLIOT Must have a name starting with W-
WICKHAM Everyone knows that Austen knaves and ne’er-do-wells’ names start with W. Wickham, Willoughby…
ELLIOT William! I’m William Elliot!
We didn’t specify first name v. family name, old chap, but it was implied…
See here, Elliot, the point of the club is that we’re good for nothing rotters who scheme to destroy Jane’s heroines out of pure malicious greed, eh? We have certain rules, and though you technically qualify, you’ve soundly lost the wager, haven’t you? Now do be a love and pay up.
WILLOUGHBY I hate to admit it, but you’ve won, Wicky-trousers. You got your girl- I never would have believed Miss Bennet would fall for-
Lizzie bursts in. Her skirt caked in mud.
LIZZIE Oh, there you are! I’ve been all over hither and yon to find you!
WICKHAM Lizzie! Darling!
LIZZIE Don’t you “darling” me! Put on your hat and coat this instant.
ELLIOT She seems actually to have walked here!
LIZZIE Sure did. And it’s colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra in January.
WILLOUGHBY I beg your pardon, Mrs. Wickham, but this is a gentleman’s club, and-
LIZZIE Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy, if you don’t mind.
ELLIOT Mrs. Darcy, eh?! Oho, Wicky-trousers!
WICKHAM Must be running along. I’ll just take this money and-
Oh, no you don’t. Mrs. Darcy, you say?
LIZZIE Yeah, never went in for his kind. I like my fellas broody and pompous, rolling in riches, drenched from swimming in lakes fully clothed. Never was interested in the noble, self-sacrificing sort.
LIZZIE Nevermind, he’s Lydia’s problem now. Family’s tremendously grateful to him for taking her off our hands and all-
ELLIOT Taking her off your hands!
LIZZIE Well, who else would have married the giggling idiot? Poor girl had “spinster” cat lady written all over her.
Lizzie does an impression of Lydia’s giggle.
We’re pleased as punch that this saint swept her off her feet.
WILLOUGHBY You’re not sore at him, then, for sullying your family’s reputation?
LIZZIE Sullying? After Jane’s and my escapades at Netherfield at the Christmas ball in 09? They had to get a new chandelier after we greased-
WICKHAM Yeah, that’ll do. Alright, Lizzie, let’s go.
Got the money you come for? This blasted Puritan has Lydia on a charity kick, feedin’ the poor- “Help your fellow man-“
WICKHAM or woman. And I object to your derogatory use of ’spinster,’ many women choose-
LIZZIE There he goes, listen to the ruddy prig. If I’d wanted that holier-than-thou-art frippery I’d have bedded down Vicar Collins.
WICKHAM Have you been drinking, Lizzie? Listen, lads, I’ll be off. Umm, you’re free to split the pot.
Wickham salutes. Lizzie is wandering out.
Elizabeth! The banister is not a plaything!
He runs out after her. We hear her, “Weeeeeeee!”
WILLOUGHBY Well, I’ll be.
ELLIOT I guess you’re the winner. Biggest scoundrel, eh?
WILLOUGHBY Can’t take it, lad. I married Lady Grey for the money, but it was only after Colonel Brandon’s ward refused me because she’d got a better offer. I was quite keen on being a father, you know. So I’m afraid I’m a bit of a bust as a cad as well.
ELLIOT Right. Snooker then?
WILLOUGHBY I should think so.