A really important year is coming – 2013. It’s Pride and Prejudice’s 200th anniversary (no, I can barely believe it either!) and the celebrations are going to be kicking off globally. While I’m personally very excited for the number of new books and new editions set to be published (I have a number of reviews already pending for the new year), there’s something very special about attending an actual event. For those of us here in Australia, the pickings might be somewhat more limited than those living in the UK or the US, but we can certainly have our fair share of entertainment.
I’ve done some searching early, and have put together a quick calendar for you of events worth considering around the country. If you hear of any others, by all means let me know, but this is what I’ve discovered so far. Also, I’ve marked on those I’m definitely going to or considering attending – if you’re coming, let me know.
South Australia’s Burnside library has alluded to a Pride and Prejudice celebration during the month, however they advise heading into the library early in the month to get a program to find out what exactly is going on. Some more digging has found that a Kids event is already devised, for 11am to 3pm on 28th: “Take an historical tour of the Library with Jane Austen and enjoy a high tea with the Victoriana Society, drawing together the threads of fictional characters, period fashion and finery. A great celebration of all things Jane Austen.” Bookings are going to be essential.
29th to Feb 2nd
If you’re in Queensland in late-January, you’re in for a special treat. “Literary Salon with the ladies of the Jane Austen Society of Australia” is running, with short talks and readings from Pride and Prejudice. They are holding events daily from Tuesday 29th to Saturday 2nd of February across a number of Gold Coast libraries, and it sounds delightful. Watch different adaptations, speak to authors of Regency inspired novels, play trivia, and learn a number of ‘accomplishments’ including arts/crafts and painting type activities. Unfortunately for me, I’m a Sydney-sider, but this looks fantastic.
Showcasing of 1940s Pride and Prejudice at Canberra’s National Film & Sound Archive.
In February, I’ll personally be kicking off at Ashfield library on 14th for the Library Lovers Day. I’m going to miss out on Susannah Fullerton’s book signing of Pride and Prejudice, Happily Ever After (she’s also the president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia) as it’s at 1pm and I’ll be working. However, there’s a panel discussion on that afternoon called ‘Romanticising Pride and Prejudice’.
“Prolific historical romance fiction writer Isolde Martyn, local romance fiction expert and blogger at Shallowreader Vassiliki Veros and editor of the Jane Austen Society of Australia journal Sensibilities , Joanna Penglase, will talk about the impact of P&P on romance fiction over the last 200 years,” the Ashfield Library website states. You’ll need to book in advance for this one.
For those near New South Wales’ Cessnock, Susannah Fullerton will also be doing a lecture for the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society entitled PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: 200 Glorious Years!. For non-members it’s just $25 and they are held at the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre. It starts at 7pm followed by ‘wine and supper’.
Ms Fullerton is doing another lecture for WEA Sydney. At Mitchell Theatre, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, 280 Pitt St, Sydney and free (but, again, bookings essential), from 1pm to 2pm.
Berkelouw Bookshop in Sydney’s Paddington is hosting Ms Fullerton at 6pm to discuss Pride and Prejudice.
If you’re in Sydney’s Waverley, then this is where you can get a bit of a hand in the action from 6pm to 7pm. Ms Fullerton will also be launching her new book here. Non-library members cost: $7 (includes wine and nibbles, yay!).
A musical event that is detailed as a ‘tour through Pride and Prejudice’. This Thorough Bass and Human Nature production includes readings from Pride and Prejudice, with music from Jane Austen’s personal favourite collection. Unfortunately for me, it’s in North Adelaide, and it looks fabulous and a great addition to Adelaide’s Fringe Festival. It starts at 3pm and tickets are upwards of $18.
29th to 31st
A Jane Austen Weekend in New South Wales’ Robertson, this event gives you luxury options and gives me goosebumps it looks so pretty. You can ride a horse and carriage, do needlework, attend book discussions, play trivia and paint. You can also dress up in full Regency garb for the events and stroll the grounds of Fountaindale Grand Manor, as you “Sample life in the 19th Century – dress, eat and drink as Elizabeth and Darcy might have in a private world away from the temptations of modern life.” Tickets start from $380 for the weekend including food, however there are day tickets also available. More activities are to be confirmed.
12th to 27th
The Highlands’ leading amateur theatre group, located in Mittagong (New South Wales’ Southern Highlands) has noted on their website that they have a production of Pride and Prejudice planned for April. Jim Cheesley will be the director, and the performances will be from 12th to 27th over the weekend days of the month. If you’re more on the acting side yourself, auditions are open in January at the Mittagong Playhouse (information night on the 14th of January and auditions on 20th).
18th to 21st
The big event, the Jane Austen Festival of Australia, will be in Canberra. I have plans to attend, currently, so fingers crossed this works out as I’ve been dying to go for a long time. From the 18th to the 21st, we’ll be dancing, eating, learning and socialising Jane Austen’s way. The program looks incredible, and this isn’t one that any Janeite should miss.
Those in Victoria’s Montrose can catch up at the Montrose Town Centre to watch Pride and Prejudice for $20 with the Montrose Movie Club.
26h to 28th
Another JASA special, this is a weekend conference in Canberra to celebrate Pride and Prejudice. A number of exciting speakers will be there, and it will be a fantastic opportunity to socialise with like-minded fans.
Melbourne’s Kingston Arts is showcasing our 1940s Pride and Prejudice film at 10.30am at their Moviehouse.
There are a number of events happening right through the year. These include themed quilting classes from Katrina Hadjimichael, who is running a Jane Austen Finishing School at Pioneer Patchwork for those who have been involved in the past. These are run in Narellan, Baulkham Hills, Wodonga and Annandale. She also says on her blog that there are general quilting classes coming up in Adelaide.
While not Australian based, one event I personally have my eye on is the Sundance Film Festival, where Jerusha Hess’ Austenland is going to be showcased. Not one I want to miss.
What are you looking forward to over 2013? If you have anymore Australia-based events, I’d love to add them to the list.