BB: Welcome to Box Office Radio Adrian, how are you?
AL: I’m very well, thank you and I am delighted to be here of course
BB: We’ll have a chat about Being Mr Wickham shortly but I must ask how
you started in this business, did you have family connections?
AL: Not really, my only family claim to fame is being a descendent of a well- known archeologist and also being related to the legendary old actor Felix Aylmer but really I began a career in acting because of my own interest. I don’t know what else I would have done so I am really glad that it has worked out.
BB: Some time before you ever became Mr Wickham in the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice you were well established with leading parts in The Bill, Peak Practice and very many other popular television series and plays as well as a stage career, did Pride and Prejudice make much difference to that career?
AL: Actually it did. You are right that I had appeared in many TV dramas but playing Mr Wickham meant that I was recognised so much more in the street. Young teenage girls used to look at me and shriek “Ooh, it’s Mr Wickham!” and more matured ladies used to tell me what a rogue I was.” It was quite good fun really and I always pleaded the case for Mr Wickham of course.”
BB: How do you really view him?
AL: I really do have certain sympathies with him. He was a rogue of course but there were mitigating circumstances. In the era in which he lived money meant everything. He was brought up surrounded by wealth but had none of it himself. He had no particular skills and therefore the only way to make his way in life was to either join the military or be a philanderer. Wasn’t much of a choice really.
BB: Does this side of his life form part of your new play Being Mr Wickham?
AL: Up to a point but there is a lot more to it than that. We reveal some of the unsaid things about him including parts of the original story. What was he doing during his times of meeting up with Elizabeth, for instance what did he do when he went to London? Did he really have feelings for Elizabeth? Of course, we all want to know how his life worked out and so we go with him through how his life developed. Did he stay married? Was he a reformed character? It’s all in Being Mr Wickham.
BB: And how can we see the play?
AL: It is being streamed live from the stage of the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds at 7:30pm on Friday 30 April and at 3pm & 7:30pm on Saturday 1 May 2021 via Original Theatre. Tickets are on sale now and I am also doing a Q and A after the performance so I hope the questions won’t be too difficult!.
BB: I am sure you – and Mr Wickham – will be up to the challenge. Thank you very much for joining us here on the Encore! Show on Box Office Radio Adrian and I hope we can ask you to come and see us again.
AL: Thank you – I would be very happy to come back again, thanks for having me.