Monday, May 23, 2016

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Filming starts today at the Parsonage and surroundings built by the BBC for Sally Wainwright's To Walk Invisible. The more images we see of the work they're doing - and we can't seem to tire of seeing them - the more impressed we are with it. The Telegraph and Argus tells has the latest news about the production:
Attention to the tiniest detail of the Brontë family's famous Haworth home has amazed and delighted local experts helping with the BBC project which starts filming on location this week.
An exact copy of the Parsonage, where the literary sisters wrote their world-famous works, is now complete on nearby Penistone Hill.
The three-story timber and MDF building will provide a perfect 1840s backdrop for the BBC TV drama, To Walk Invisible, created by award-winning Yorkshire writer and playwright Sally Wainwright, said Rebecca Yorke, marketing officer of the Parsonage Museum.
"Everyone here has been absolutely staggered by the BBC's attention to detail," she said.
"We were invited to studios in Manchester where they are filming interior scenes and it really was quite unnerving for us to be in this amazing replica.
"It was just like our own building down to the very last thing - only more "lived-in" and a bit scruffy as it would have been at the time.
"Our Parsonage is much more how it was after Charlotte had enjoyed some success and spent some money on it.
"Production staff spent ages with us to produce an exact copy of the building, even measuring flagstones to get them just right and have copied all the gravestones which are in place with all the words carved into them.
"Examples of other attention to detail are that they have got the right pet dogs, Flossie, a spaniel cross and Keeper, a mastiff type.
"And they have also made copies of the dog's original named collars - which is an incredible approach."
Collection manager at the Parsonage Ann Dinsdale said she was particularly impressed by the quality of costumes.
"It's going to look absolutely stunning, the dresses and clothes have been copied perfectly.
"The BBC has done a huge amount of research, even to the extent of producing manuscripts, letters and the portable writing desks which the sisters used, full of things like pen nibs, ink wells and blotting paper.
"They have even copied poetry manuscripts and Emily's little notebooks written tiny script," she said.
Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council's new chairman, Councillor Angel Kershaw, said everyone was looking forward to seeing the finished drama.
"It's fascinating to see all the work and all looks very good and so authentic.
"The producer came to talk to the parish council and said he would be happy to have local people involved as extras during the filming.
"Another thing is that when they've finished filming they've also promised to leave the site exactly as it was."
Faith Penhale, executive producer for Lookout Point - which is making the drama with the BBC, said: "It is such a treat to be able to film our drama about the Brontë sisters in and around Yorkshire, where the Brontë sisters came from.
"Everyone has been so supportive and excited, which we all really appreciate." (Chris Tate)
The Haworth Village Facebook page has also added a few new pictures of the now-finished set, which is certainly looking stunning. And it looks as if it's a gorgeous day on the moors today too.

Matlock Mercury reviews the local production of Jane Eyre adapted to the stage by Rob Hall and played by the Hathersage Players.
In the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s death, the village players are honouring the writer whose work has attracted hundreds of tourists to the area.
An open-air production of Jane Eyre will be staged at North Lees Hall on July 2. Those lucky enough to have snapped up a ticket to the sell-out performance will be in for a treat. [...]
Louise Whiteley gives a beautifully judged performance in the title role. Her voice is gentle, her manner subservient, her expressions adding to the charm of her characterisation as she cajoles and teases Rochester, parrying his verbal blows like a champion fencer.
Rob Hall is the spark to her flame, depicting Rochester’s angry outbursts and brief moments of tenderness with consummate ease and engendering sympathy in his audience.
Little Madeleine Cooper is a scene-stealer as Rochester’s French love child Adele, Emily Upton shines in the role of housekeeper Mrs Fairfax and Jenny Armstrong gives a good characterisation as Rochester’s spoilt, jealous girlfriend Blanche Ingram.
Performed in the setting of a wood-panelled library, the technical aspect is as good as the performance with windows blowing open, manic screams ringing out, the sound of footsteps clattering up stone steps, crackling flames and swirling dry ice to symbolise smoke.
Gemma Laidler directs Jane Eyre, which has been adapted from the original by Rob Hall. (Gay Bolton)
Brighouse Echo features local author author Alan Titterington and his book St John In The Wilderness.
The eponymous St John Titterington was his great-great-grandfather, with whom Branwell Brontë, brother of the famous literary sisters, recorded a friendship in his Luddenden diaries.
As well as his sketch, which includes a self-portrait on the book’s cover, Branwell also painted oil portraits of John and his wife Mary whilst staying at their home at Higgin Chamber in Boulderclough, Sowerby, near Halifax.
In the book, Robert Titterington, a first cousin of Alan’s ancestor, was part of a notorious gang of highway robbers, of whom it was reported in the Halifax Guardian at the time: “...their outrages upon life and property were making the night hideous, where they were accustomed to perpetrate their deeds of wickedness.”
The book is a narrative of the friendship between the Titterington and Brontë families, relating John’s adventures and misdeeds from the year of 1848.
Beginning with the relocation of his family, from his mill operation in Halifax to the busy streets of York, John shares the details of the events that befell his family as well as the Brontë family. John suffers many life-changing events that challenge his success and survival.
Some good reviews of the Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre production:
Congratulations to Northern for bringing her back and extensively touring Jane Eyre too – it’s on their new mid-scale circuit (I saw it in the comfy 620 seat Cast in Doncaster), but this is a work that would be equally at home in the larger venues they cover. It’s actually the best new narrative work I’ve seen Northern Ballet do in many years. (...)
Satisfyingly sparse and clever. All up, the experience of the entire team shows, and whatever preconceptions you might have about seeing Northern Ballet, put them to one side and see Jane Eyre. Damn fine dancers in a damn fine piece. (Bruce Marriott on DanceTabs
As ever, expressive acting and dance skills, plus a superbly integrated score combine to sweep the powerful narrative along with unflagging flow and momentum as the characters spring convincingly to life on stage. Alastair West’s lighting and Patrick Kinmonth’s set, all moody, broody browns and gritty greys, evoke a lonely vastness of moorland, while moveable segments in the same subdued hues, are strategically repositioned to represent dark interiors with the addition of just the odd chair. Costumes echo the drama’s mood with greys, browns and blacks, lifted to brightness most notably by little Adele’s rose pink dress and the fiery red of mad Bertha’s. (...)
Impact, innovation, excellence. For any fan of the Jane Eyre story, this is a piece of exhilarating theatre, not to be missed. (Eileen Caiger-Gray in Mature Times)
More on theatre as The Stage mentions Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts' recent take on Polly Teale's Jane Eyre as a good example of music-acting combo.
So how do you integrate actor-musicianship into the rest of the training in an institution and, at the same time, keep it separate from musical theatre training – isn’t it the same thing? Enter Mountview, whose graduate production of Polly Teale’s admirable adaptation of Jane Eyre I saw at Jacksons Lane theatre in London earlier this month.
It was directed by Sally Ann Gritton, who is Mountview’s head of undergraduate performance – a telling title. She used to be rather clumsily dubbed ‘head of acting and undergraduate musical theatre’. I detect a shift towards a more integrated approach, which this show certainly bore out. It brought together third-year musical theatre students and actor-musos to create an impressive ensemble of 16. The result was imaginative and the standard high.
One of the things that struck me most is that this wasn’t actually a musical. It was a play to which Ben Goddard’s original ‘incidental’ music added layers of atmosphere. The whole ensemble sang and versatile instrumentalists were continuously on stage providing music to support the action and moving in and out of the minor roles.
Thus (at the performance I saw – some of the roles were rotated) Penny Dyer gave a fine performance as the ebullient French orphan Adele as well as playing the bassoon (such an evocative sound) when her character was out of the action. Elizabeth Rowe played piano when she wasn’t strutting around the stage as the appalling Blanche Ingram.
The role of Jane – clear overlap here – rotated between Tayla Buck, who is an actor-muso, and Rebecca Stanier, who has followed the musical theatre course. A show full of permeable membranes then, showcasing two courses that are developing multi-skilled and versatile performers who work well together. I think some other colleges could learn from this example. (Susan Elkin)
Daily Bulldog jokes about classic authors adapting their works for children.
Other deceased authors, such as Emily Brontë have chosen to adapt their books for younger, more modern  audiences. Brontë's new Wuthering High, features a seemingly kindly but strict Headmaster, Mr. Earnshaw, who takes in a strange sullen Romanian exchange student Heathcliff. Heathcliff unexpectedly connects with the school's queen bee, Earnshaw's own daughter Catherine. He leaves the remote private school under a cloud but when Heatchcliff returns as the school's new Headmaster things really hit the fan. According to Brontë, "it's not plagiarism when you steal from yourself." (Kenny Brechner)
Which is almost as funny as this bit from The Guardian likening football manager José Mourinho to Heathcliff.
Mourinho has simpered and sweated and haggled for this opportunity. And now Heathcliff has finally got his hands on Wuthering Heights. It is unlikely to be dull. (Barney Ronay)
AnneBrontë.org has a post on animals in the novels on Anne and Emily Brontë. The Asian Review of Books posts about Patricia Park's Re Jane. Movie and Television Blog posts about the BBC documentary The Brontë Business (1977).

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