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RHUL's Student Workshop presents
Adapted by Lucy Gough
Directed by Chloe Walton
Caryl Churchill Theatre
June 10, 11
Wuthering Heights has often been described as one of the greatest love stories ever told, and I can remember reading the book for the first time and being totally transported into another world and feeling enthralled by their tale. However, upon reading this adaptation by Lucy Gough I came to the realisation that Cathy and Heathcliff’s passion for one another is actually an example of obsession and violence within love, and I began to question whether it is a love story at all. This led me to consider that love is not always in total opposition to hatred, as if we were not passionate about someone then we would not be capable of conjuring such strong feelings for them. This production of Wuthering Heights will therefore aim to channel this idea into a piece where passion will totally underpin characters’ emotions and actors will be able to explore their own basic human instincts. I feel that there is a pre-conception that Wuthering Heights is a static tale, and I was relieved to discover a truly theatrical representation of the passions felt by these characters, by utilising stage combat at times when characters feel totally unable to stifle their emotions and lash out at one another.This production will provide a real opportunity for actors to totally embody their characters, and as a director I will firstly seek to create this with the performers by taking advantage of the wide critical analysis available for each of their characters which will form the foundation for the physical manifestations of their character’s actions. We will then explore the physicality of the piece, and the safety of my actors would be paramount and this is why I have asked Katie Overstall to be my Stage Combat Co-Ordinator, as careful choreography will be needed from the outset in order to ensure the seamless co-ordination between movement, set changes and performance. I feel that the close collaboration between an actor led transformable set, careful choreography and in depth character analysis will create an ethereal dream like quality to the piece, which will totally transport an audience into this world; all in the luxury of the new Carly Churchill theatre.
Overall, the adaptation was a general success, and hopefully any of my qualms raised will have been addressed before today’s matinee performance. I would encourage everyone to visit the new Caryl Churchill Theatre and enjoy this stage adaptation of Emily Brontë’s classic gothic romance. (Rose Walker)