It was with a great deal of sadness that I learned of the passing of Benjamin Whitrow from Adrian last week. Ben is better known to the Jane Austen community as the quintessential Mr Bennet and starred opposite Adrian in the BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
I was very fortunate to work with Ben on our show, An Evening with Jane Austen, and even more fortunate to be able to spend some time with him socially. He was a true force of nature despite the passing years. Full of mischief and fun, and never at a loss for words of wit or wisdom.
Ben was passionate about the art of acting and the business of theatre, and to listen to him reminisce about his career was a true privilege. Of course, not all the stories are repeatable in polite company, but every one was wonderful!
I last saw Ben in Bath in September, when he joined us for a performance at the Jane Austen Festival. He was in high spirits and when he joined as for drinks afterwards, he was the centre of attention not just in our party, but from audience members who asked to meet and be photographed with him.
He was sparkling that night, and we will all miss him dreadfully.