WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Screeve

I stumbled on a wonderful video of what some call a Pride and Prejudice parody, and while I can see several instances of comparison with adaptations of that novel, I would more directly call it a period drama parody. The video combines elements from pretty much all the Jane Austen books, plus any Georgian drama you can call to mind as you watch it.

It aired originally as a Christmas Day special way back in 2000, but doesn’t look terribly dated despite that being twenty years ago(!). The production rivals any full-length period drama; it was filmed at Squerryes Court in Westerham, Kent, a 17th Century manor house that was also used in the 2009 Emma adaptation and for the Battle of Agincourt in the 2012 BBC series, The Hollow Crown. It also features exquisite costuming, dialog worthy of Austen, and enough hand- and kerchief-wringing to make Mrs. Bennet seem tame.

The cast is top-tier for a show that runs less than ten minutes: Alan Rickman (I still get teary over his passing), Richard E. Grant, Pete Postlethwaite, Imelda Staunton, Honeysuckle Weeks, Geraldine McEwan, Victoria Wood (who wrote the screenplay), and James Bolam, to name the ones I recognized. I especially enjoyed the exchange of letters (hence my choice for the Word of the Week), with the addition of a sweepstakes chance a nice, spoofy touch.

Oh, and the title? Plots and Proposals.

Screeve

A letter, or written paper.

Victoria Wood has written and starred in many pastiches. If you enjoyed this one, head to YouTube, search for her name, and prepare to be entertained.

 

Slang term taken from Cant: A Gentleman’s Guide. The Language of Rogues in Georgian London, by Stephen Hart.

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