(This is Scene 2 of a project I am working on: a story in which a reality television show is produced in England in 1800, based on the MTV reality show “The Real World”. Eight of Jane Austen’s beloved – and despised – characters will live in Northanger Abbey!)
2. EXT. OUTSIDE OF NORTHANGER ABBEY – DAY
It is a sunny day and we see CATHERINE MORLAND seated on a chair looking into a video camera suspiciously. MARK stands behind the camera with SIMON next to him.
SIMON: Just ignore the blinking red light.
Catherine straightens her body and glares into the lens.
View shifts to the Camera Catherine is looking into.
SIMON: Please, tell me about yourself.
CATHERINE: (Nervously) My name is Miss Catherine Morland. I am from Fullerton, where I live with my Mother, Father, and ten brothers and sisters. I’m quite excited to be at this fascinating Abbey and to meet my new companions. I’m certain they will all be lovely.
FRANK CHURCHILL: Good afternoon, Frank Churchill. (removing his hat and bowing his head slightly) I hail from beautiful Enscombe, in Scotland, where I live with my aunt and uncle. I believe that we will all have a marvelous time here at Northanger Abbey. It is quite lovely here.
MARIANNE DASHWOOD: Miss Marianne Dashwood. (Dramatically flipping her hair and smiling) I love everything a lady should love: poetry, nature, art. (Pausing to hear a question) This place? Well it’s quite dreary, but I expect to have many happy days walking through these gardens. And perhaps I may find myself a husband while I’m here.
JOHN THORPE: Mr. Thrope, Mr. John Thorpe.I hail from the glorious city of Bath, where I’ve spent my youth attending all of the best events. Am I engaged? Well, I have won the hearts of many fine young ladies. But alas, I am still looking for a suitable partner. (Wink)
ISABELLA THROPE: Isabella Thorpe. I assume you have already talked to my twin brother, John? Well, I assure you, he is of the best character… well, second best I should say. (She stares lustily at the interviewer, he gestures to the camera and she shifts slightly and raises an eyebrow at the camera.) I expect that during my time here I will win the friendship of all the ladies of the house, and the affection of all the men.
LUCY STEELE: You may call me Miss Lucy Steele. Are you quite sure that … thing… is functioning properly? (Reaching forward to touch the camera, but stopping an inch short.) Nevermind, … I think this will be an interesting experience. Though I cannot see why the government would be interested in placing a bunch of young men and women into an old abbey. What are they researching exactly?
ROBERT MARTIN: (With a slight stutter) H-h-hello, Robert Martin h-here. I live on a Abbey-Mill f-f-farm with my mother and sisters. My f-father passed away a few months back, so now it’s up to me manage the f-farm. I’m great-f-full to be here, it was quite nice of you all to offer to watch over my mum and sisters while I’m away.
GEORGE WICKHAM: George Wickham, pleasure to meet you. I come from the gorgeous Pemberly Estate… ah, actually not anymore. I was raised there by my loving god father, but can never return because his son has cast me out forever because of… a dispute. But never mind I’m quite certain that I will be comfortable here at Northanger Abbey.
…Stay Tuned for Scene 3 where the cast members will move into Northanger Abbey and meet each other!