My first full length play (Water Child) was produced in Newcastle Australia in 2012. Having won an award for that play and received very enthusiastic reviews and comments from audience members, I was keen to write another. But I had no particular idea about what until one day, like a gift, an idea presented itself. Mr and Mrs Bennet. How – ? why – ? And what inspired this unlikely union? I read Pride and Prejudice again eagerly with those characters in focus, and noted that very little context is provided for their past.
Chapter 42 opens with reflections on their courtship and marriage:
‘HAD Elizabeth's opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing picture of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort. Her father, captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had, very early in their marriage, put an end to all real affection for her. Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished for ever; and all his views of domestic happiness were overthrown.’