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Wednesday, February 4

Ruby Bentall – A Most Memorable Mary Bennet

British actress Ruby Bentall’s portrayal of Mary Bennet in the recent miniseries Lost in Austen is by far the most interesting interpretation of the sanctimonious middle Bennet daughter of Pride and Prejudice yet. Not only was she given more lines by the screenwriter Guy Andrews, she was actually allowed to be interested in other things than scripture, reading and singing at the pianoforte by showing concern for her sisters and participating in the conversation. Ms. Bentall’s wide eyed and often stunned expressions served her well, adding to the impact and humor of this delightful time travel parody of Pride and Prejudice.

Recently interviewed about her role as Mary Bennet for Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine, this young actress has made a solid start portraying interesting characters. She made her stage debut in 2008 as Lea in The National Theatre’s production of DNA and as Veronica in The Miracle in London, and also played Tish in Sister Agnes Investigates on BBC Radio 4 the same year. Born in London in 1988, Ruby has solid theatrical roots - she is the daughter of actress Janine Duvitski (Vanity Fair 1999 & Little Dorrit 2008) and actor Paul Bentall (Vanity Fair 2004 and Silent Witness 2007). If you are lucky enough to live on the other side of the pond, you can catch her as Minnie the hopeless housemaid in the second season of BBC One’s production of Lark Rise to Candleford, which stars Julia Sawalha (Pride and Prejudice 1995).

Be sure to catch her performance as Charlotte in this month’s Masterpiece Classic presentation of Oliver Twist (2007) which begins on Sunday February 15th on PBS and concludes the following Sunday the 22nd. You might just notice some other familiar faces in the production also: Morven Christine who plays Rose was Ruby’s sister Jane Bennet in Lost in Austen (and is also in the soon to be released The Young Victoria), Anna Massey as Mrs. Bedwin (Mansfield Park 1986), and Tom Hardy as Bill Sikes, who just portrayed Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights (2008).

Ruby has a bright career ahead of her. She is one to watch.

Cheers, Laurel Ann, Austenprose


Jane Odiwe said...

Ruby made a fantastic Mary Bennet and is absolutely adorable as Minnie in Lark Rise. I'm sure she'll go far!

Nonna said...

I think she breathed new life into Mary Bennet the author of the piece intended !

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Looking very much forward to this Oliver Twist!!!

Bob said...

Ruby's comic ability displayed to the full in Minnie. But she could also convey tremendous emotion and wisdom with just a look. The best member of the cast of Lark Rise!

Anonymous said...

I taught her at Grey Court!