TAKE a comic look at how Jane Austen created her most memorable character when award-winning duo LipService perform Mr Darcy Loses The Plot at Theatre Royal Winchester on March 9-10.

Two hundred years after Jane Austen died in Winchester, LipService celebrate the great novelist’s life with an hilarious insight into the challenges she faced as a woman writer in the early 19th century.

Jane Austen sits writing, her quill scurrying across the vellum. She is dreaming up Darcy, a proud, lip-curling, handsome creation in very tight pants. But then a door squeaks, a visitor approaches and Jane hastily hides her work.

Now left to his own devices, Darcy embroiders his own storyline whilst his creator stitches her quilt. When Jane returns she finds the plot has moved on and Darcy is dancing to a rather different tune.

LipService take the opportunity to explore the world of women writers, scribbling in secret or under pseudonyms, squeezing in their writing amongst the hustle and bustle of taking tea, choosing chintz and the odd attack of the vapours.

Maggie Fox and Sue Ryder have been writing and performing as the comedy duo LipService since 1985.

The Guardian described them as “the Laurel and Hardy of literary deconstruction”.

Their recent work includes Withering Looks and Inspector Norse.

Mr Darcy Loses The Plot is at Theatre Royal Winchester next Thursday and Friday. Tickets are available from theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk and on 01962 840440.