'Pride and Prejudice' screening transforms Provo venue into 'Austen' land
Event • Fans celebrate 200th publishing anniversary of classic novel with screening of the beloved BBC miniseries.
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a classic television miniseries in possession of a good reputation must be in want of a chance to hit the big screen.

So thought David Acheson, a 51-year-old manager in computer training and certification in Provo. He's a longtime Anglophile, ever since his days abroad in 1990, when he earned a degree in international law from the University of Edinburgh.

That his thoughts might echo Jane Austen, one of his favorite authors, is no mistake. Acheson earned a bachelor's degree in English literature at Brigham Young University before studying law. With some embarrassment, he admits he was first smitten with the author's works through viewing the BBC miniseries adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice."

In contrast, he has no embarrassment at all about spreading his love for Austen's charming novel. Acheson became so committed to bringing BBC's famous 1996 television miniseries to a Utah big screen in homage to his affection that he was surprised to learn that it had never been done before.

Now, after more than three years of back-and-forth correspondence with the powers that be at the BBC, plus a trip to London to contract the screening rights, the entire six-episode run will screen all day, March 2, at Provo's Covey Center for the Arts.

The event, titled "All Things Austen," commemorates the 200th anniversary of Austen's famous novel, first published January 1813. It marks the first time, according to BBC officials Acheson corresponded with, that the adaptation, starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet, will be shown on the big screen for public viewing.

"We want to grow the ranks of those who love and appreciate Jane Austen," Acheson said. "I think it might lead to a greater sense of gentility and kindness in the world."

Jane Hinckley, adjunct professor of English at Brigham Young University, opens the event with a 9:30 a.m. lecture, "The Enduring Legacy of Jane Austen's Works (In Other Words, Why We Just Can't Get Enough of Austen!)", before the screening. There will be a midday break for lunch and other activities after the first three episodes screen, followed by the remaining three episodes.

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Transforming Provo into 'Austen' land

The first-ever "All Things Austen" event will include a screening of BBC's beloved "Pride and Prejudice" mini-series.

When • Saturday, March 2; doors open at 8:30 a.m.; event from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where • Covey Center for the Performing Arts, 425 W. Center Street, Provo

Tickets • $39-$59, at janeaustenguild.com

Info • Call 801-319-7103