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A change of tenant at an iconic Brontë pub has prompted fears over its future.Guide 2 Bristol reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre:
Owners Enterprise Inns acted to quash rumours that the beloved watering hole in Haworth was in danger of closing.
Spokesman Amy Dolphin said the Bull, a regular haunt of Brontë brother Branwell in the 19th century, was popular with both locals and tourists.
She said the Midlands-based company was actively seeking an experienced publican to take over the pub from its existing tenant.
The Black Bull lies at the top of Main Street, in front of the parish church where the Brontë sisters’ father Patrick was minister.
Concern over the pub’s future was sparked at the weekend by the appearance of a “to let” sign outside.
Graham Smith, who runs the Brontë Media website, tweeted that there was a “very real danger” the Black Bull could be Haworth’s first pub closure.
Brontë fans on both sides of the Atlantic added their fears about the pub’s future.
Amy Dolphin yesterday said: “The Black Bull has a loyal local trade and benefits from being a destination pub for the tourists.
“We are actively recruiting for an experienced publican with the ability and ambition to develop this traditional community pub.”
Councillor Rebecca Poulsen (Con, Worth Valley), described the recruitment drive as “very positive”.
She said: “The Black Bull is a historic building and the residents are concerned because of its links to the Brontës.
“People visit for the history, but tourists don’t come all the time and it needs to attract local people too.
“There’s a lot of competition in that part of Main Street, it has to be a combination of good food, drink and service.”
John Huxley, chairman of Haworth, Stanbury and Cross Roads Parish Council, hoped a new tenant could be found.
But he added: “The pub trade is in a very parlous state. It must be a very difficult way to earn a living.
“The Black Bull is part of Haworth’s history and an integral part of the tourist offer. We want to keep its historic links, but provide excellence for the village.”
Enterprise Inns plans to hold an open day for prospective tenants this Thursday from noon to 1pm.
The cast also have to span the years, there are just 10 of them, including three musicians, and almost everyone has to portray several characters, of varying ages and genders, and in the case of Craig Edwards, even take on canine characteristics. It is testament to their talent and skill that they do so without any confusion. As Jane, Madelaine Worrall is perfectly cast and I really enjoyed watching her intelligence, ambition, frustration and vulnerability; you just find yourself wanting the best for her.The Huffington Post interviews writer Jacqueline Bishop about her first novel The River's Song.
Actually, the entire acting cast delivered perfect performances, so rather than picking out any other individuals I will instead give equal praise to Craig Edwards, Laura Elphinstone, Felix Hayes, Melanie Marshall, Simone Saunders and Maggie Tagney.
The music is very much an integral part of the show, composed by Benji Bower and performed live on stage by him, his brother Will, and Phil King, it creates the perfect audio backdrop and, particularly when the vocal talents of Melanie Marshall are added to the mix, it is quite hauntingly beautiful. Incorporated into the score are new, very different, versions of Noel Coward’s Mad About the Boy and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, both of which were spot on for the moments in which they were performed and very enjoyable to listen to. [...]
By the end of Part One on Wednesday I felt exhausted, it was intense to watch, but I couldn’t wait to see how the story unfolded in Part Two. When that ended, with the cast rewarded by a standing ovation (rare enough at the Bristol Old Vic to really mean something), I was speechless for some time, just wanting to replay some of the scenes in my mind, but when I did speak it was to comment that “I don’t think we’ll see anything better than that this year”.
In so far as my first published novel--The River's Song--is concerned, I started to think about the novel after I had written and published a short story called "Brown Girl in The Ring." Looking back now, in fact, I see that that short story, "Brown Girl In The Ring," was influenced by Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea. In Wide Sargasso Sea you have the delicate sensitive Antoinette, who is being hurt, at the beginning of the novel, by the very environment of the Caribbean in which she lives. A playmate is summoned for Antoinette in the form of Tia. But Tia, a black girl, is presented as unfeeling. Indeed she can walk barefoot and bare-head in the hot Jamaican sun, without feeling any pain. But I knew that this was wrong, I knew that Tia, could and did in fact feel pain and so in that short story I wanted to talk back to Jean Rhys who herself was talking back to Charlotte Brontë in the novel Jane Eyre. Like Jean Rhys I too felt the need to set the record straight about the "maligned mad woman in the attic." I wanted in fact to say to both Jean Rhys and Jane Eyre here is another side of the story, the story that neither of you are seeking to tell. And so I wrote "Brown Girl In The Ring" to tell the other half of the story, which the great poet Lorna Goodison has written, that some of us must tell. (Loren Kleinman)El Faro Digital (Spain) finds a Brontëite in writer Sagar Prakash Khatnani:
–¿Cuales son sus escritores referentes y novelas de cabecera?The Huffington Post also interviews another writer, who is rather an antiBrontëite: Walter Kirn.
–Me apasiona la literatura británica clásica: Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Henry Fielding, Elizabeth Gaskell, las hermanas Brontë... pero si hay un libro que me marcó fue Gandhi, de Louis Fischer. (Olav Orts) (Translation)
Which classic have you not yet read? Do you intend to read it?We guess he won't be taking up The Millions' recommendation about good reads for March, one of which is precisely Wuthering Heights.
My mother used to push Wuthering Heights on me as a boy, and I sensed from her breathy description of the story that it would make me laugh. I have no plans to find out if this is true.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page shows the book of music Anne Brontë compiled while working as a governess at Thorp Green.
In the early morning of March 20, a “puny, seven months’ child” named Catherine is born; later that morning her sickly mother, Catherine, dies, and her true love, Heathcliff, dashes his savage brow against a tree in fury and sorrow. Sixteen years later, young Cathy celebrates her birthday with a ramble on the moors, where she meets that same Heathcliff and Brontë’s tightly wound drama turns inward once again. (Tom Nissley)