If you want a giggle, you’ve come to the right place. From the Omid Djalili show a few years ago comes a sketch entitled “Pride and Racial Prejudice” a hilarious take on courtship, ethnicity and felafel. It’s a light hearted chuckle at Jane Austen, manners and British sensibilities such as the stiff upper lip as well- so don’t take it too seriously.
London-born Iranian Omid plays the Persian Ambassador for the Prince Regent- Mr Farsi, who is reportedly based on Mirza Abul Hassan Khan. The Persian Ambassador was sent to King George III in 1809 by the Shah, to negotiate an alliance between Britain and Iran, or “Persia” at the time. While dubbed as an “alternative period drama” but nevertheless a well-produced high-quality piece of comedy, it’s something even purist Janeites will be amused at. Plus, it has some fantastic decor, props and costumes that are pleasant for any Regency fan to gaze at.
With jokes that go beyond cultural differences to become funny for all, I think that Omid (with all his awards and fans) does us Janeites proud with his new take on Pride and Prej. It guest stars Alison Steadman, whom we all know as Mrs Bennet from the A&E/BBC ’95 Pride and Prejudice, who plays Mrs. Dashet- an obvious mish-mash of Mrs Bennet and Mrs Dashwood. I really enjoyed her presence as I felt it turned this otherwise solely “Regency” giggle into an actual P&P effort. Which was also re-enforced with the slightly altered line: “A single man in possession of a fortune, must be in want of a wife”.
The best jokes, are those relating to the “weather”- it is true that the Austen characters have an extreme preoccupation with the state of the skies. Making it relate to a “lovers code” is truly genius, especially as it already dictated who could be outside and similar at the time and as such I can imagine that most lovers would put a lot of stock into how the weather is so they can take a turn outside alone. Similarly, the Fan-Off, as I will term it, between Mrs Dashet, Miss Dashet and Mr. Farsi is brilliant- and completely resonates with me (how confusing would it be to have to tell all your emotions through weird fan techniques rather than just coming right out and saying it?). Plus, I can’t NOT mention the hilarious dancing…
Watch the rest, and be prepared for some shrieking and squabbling and brief-almost-nudity as our new Mr Darcy/Farsi (assuming that’s a word play on “farce” yet I could be wrong) comes out of the water:
Unfortunately, it seems to have spurred some rather negative and racist comments on Youtube. But we all know what people are like with trolling. Maybe try to leave some refined Jane-worthy feedback?