Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016 12:53 pm by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
Yorkshire Post interviews playwright Linda Marshall Griffiths, author of the Villette adaptation that will open next month in Leeds at the West Yorkshire Playhouse's Brontë Season:
Villette was penned by Charlotte Brontë in 1853. It’s set in that same period and is widely regarded as her other masterpiece. Like Jane Eyre it’s a story about loneliness, yearning and the redemptive power of love. My stage adaptation is about those themes too, but instead of the 19th century this production of that ground-breaking novel will be set in a ravaged near future. Linda Marshall Griffiths who has adapted Villette for West Yorkshire Playhouse.
There will always be some who believe these classics of English literature should never be tampered with, but there is I think good reason for fast-forwarding the action a couple of hundred years. In the novel so much is withheld and Lucy Snowe is perhaps Charlotte Brontë’s most enigmatic heroine. On stage I needed to find a way to show what is hidden in the novel. (...)
Charlotte was writing falteringly after the death of both her sisters Emily and Anne. Somehow their presence although never acknowledged haunts Villette. Lucy’s backstory is never explored (she was advised not to include it as it may be too autobiographical) but we know she longs for those unnamed others.
This was my starting place. What if I allowed that back-story into the novel? What if those two sisters were allowed to raise their heads in the play?
Then I began thinking about who the invisible woman is now? Or in the future. Who would be that workforce that did the jobs no-one wanted to do, who were easily disposable? I began thinking of clones created like worker-ants, identical and made purely to work. What if Lucy was a single clone surviving a pandemic that had killed her identical sisters?
Holding fast to the story and characters I moved the setting of Villette onto an archaeological dig in the future. Lucy attempts to flee her past to become part of team looking for the bones of the Lady of Villette – a survivor herself she may hold the key to an ebola-like virus.
Keighley News announces the return to Haworth of the Jumble and Pearls family fair next November:
The fairs, now in their second year, will be at the Old School Room alongside the parish church, on September 4 and November 6. (...)
The latest ‘pop-up’ fairs are being organised to tie in with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë this year.
Rosalia added: “The Old School Room is the only building built by, and taught at, by all of the Bronte family." (David Knights)
Essential Surrey & SW London publishes a belated review of the Jane Eyre. An autobiography performances seen at the Edinburgh Fringe:
With just a simple, well-lit couch at her disposal Rebecca Vaughan manages to capture the essence of the novel from the first few minutes and brings all the key moments of the book vividly to life opening with Jane hiding from her violent cousin in the windowseat, her challenging time at Lowood Institution, her arrival at Thornfield and subsequent relationship with the brusque Mr Rochester plus everything that follows. Elton Townend Jones, writer and director of the show has done a terrific job in condensing the book in such a stylish and yet effective manner, nothing pivotal is overlooked, nothing superfluous is included. (Amanda Hodges)
Poet Holly Pester discusses flying dreams on The Literateur:
Upon the gift of some toy soldiers the Brontë children invented a phantasy world called The Glass Town, an imaginary colony of Africa for them to inhabit and rule. Charlotte Brontë describes a race of people called the O’Dears.
The origin of the O’Dears was as follows. We pretended we had each a large island inhabited by people 6 miles high. Hay Man was my chief man, Boaster Branwell’s, Hunter Anne’s, and Clown Emily’s. Our chief men were 10 miles high except Emily’s, who was only 4.
The order of design was the reach of the bodies, reproducing the dream of Empire. The hi-men, the blank page, the climate and the polity. After the development of The Glass Town the children elaborated the paracosm to include, Angria, a new colony for the phantasy Duke of Wellington and his sons to play war games in. And after that Emily and Anne created Gondal, a Queendom ruled by Augusta Geraldine Almeda. Gondal was an island in the North Pacific, just north of the island of Gaaldine. It included at least four kingdoms: Gondal, Angora, Exina and Alcona. The northern island, nucleus to the state of rule, resembled Yorkshire in its climate and fauna.
Gondal was a spin off cosmos, created by the younger girls in reaction to their lowly status in The Glass Town and Angria. Emily added to and elaborated Gondal for the rest of her life. She created detail and history, she rarely left the house except to walk on the moors. In Gondal she played with melodrama and the slight of thought. Gondal was a daydream with sovereignty. The heroine queen, Augusta Geraldine Almeda, or A.G.A. was imagined as passionate and ruthless. Her lovers’ lives end in prison, death or exile.
Emily was playing, fantasising and walking up hills. She was asking, ‘what are
others for me? How am I to desire them? How am I to lend myself to their desire?’
Utter a little world that’s alleged or rejected by culture as she finds it, but her body
insists on it. She was assuming a posture that finds a desire, asking, Why ask to know the date?
Film adaptations listed on Signature:
Jane Eyre” (1943, 1983, 2006, 2011)
There are so many options for a film adaptation of this classic that it’s practically overwhelming. Know that watching any of them is not going to give you the full story as each one takes liberties. The 1943 picture is worth watching if you’d like artistic shots, Orson Welles’s somewhat miscast take on Rochester, and an uncredited performance by Elizabeth Taylor as Helen Burns. While the 1983 miniseries starring Timothy Dalton is your best bet for closest textual adaptation, the 2006 film with Ruth Wilson features one of the more acclaimed versions of Jane. Most adaptations find it hard to reconcile Jane’s quiet warmth with her bold and passionate thoughts, but Wilson does a great job with the juxtaposition. Just be prepared for an additional racy scene you didn’t remember from the book. The latest 2011 version with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska plays with the original order of the storyline and builds on the scarier, more secretive aspects of the original novel, but is also a strong option.
Popmatters reviews the DVD release of the film Symptoms by José Ramón Larraz (1974):
Larraz reveals an admirable level of restraint here and, in this approximation of horror and drama, he articulates a shimmering elegance filled with tree-lined nature paths, placid ponds and wind-swept corridors. It’s like a Brontë novel restructured as a Hitchcock film; at every moment there is the small but conscientious dropping of a clue that points toward the film’s inevitable conclusion. (Imran Khan)
Broadway World talks about the University of Montana's Montana Repertory Theatre Presents Fall Educational Outreach Tour which includes, as we have posted before, Brontë to the Future!
Written by playwright Laramie Dean, this funny and engaging comedy features Emily and Charlotte Brontë and their most beloved characters including Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester, and Catherine and Heathcliff as they travel forward in time to the future. Bronte? to the Future! is a mashup that places the Brontës' beloved Jane and Rochester and Catherine and Heathcliff in the world of today-and possibly tomorrow-while retaining all the romance and Gothic splendor of the original stories.
Told in under 50 minutes, this engaging and relevant new comedy is played out by two actresses, and the theatrical appearance of their many suitors, as they struggle with all the same issues teens have today: relationships, authority figures, and peer pressure. Having watched the play, audience members can compare and contrast the original novels with the play and discuss both the Gothic novel and the Romantic genre.
The Porterville Recorder lists settings which inspire:
Another memorable place we visited on the way to the famous Lake District was the Brontë parsonage, home to Charlotte Brontë, author of “Jane Eyre,” and her sister Emily Brontë, who wrote “Wuthering Heights.” The old parsonage, church and cemetery were clustered on the top of a hill with the town of Haworth below. It was easy to envision the rugged land around the Brontë home as the ‘wild moorland’ described in their writings, especially on a cold foggy morning.
Patrick Brontë was the minister of the small stone church next to the parsonage and was actively involved in the community of Haworth. He was a widower with four talented children— Charlotte, Emily, Ann and Branwell—a busy man, yet providing his family with a rich supply of literature and encouraging them in the arts. The world-wide influence of Charlotte, Emily and Ann (“The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”) continues today, even though they had to begin their careers using the pen names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, because females were discouraged from becoming published authors! (Judy Lowery
You and Your Wedding lists romantic and literary wedding vows:
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love - I have found you. You are my sympathy - my better self - my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you - and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.” (Penny YYW)
Japan Journals has a long and quite complete article about the Brontës and Haworth:
カラー・ベル、エリス・ベル、アクトン・ベル…。同じ姓を持ち、同時期に小説を発表したこの3人は何者なのか? そもそも男性と女性のどちらなのか?――3人とも女性の心情をよく理解している様子ではあるものの、社会の規範に反抗するような挑戦的な内容を女性が書けるはずがない…。結局、1人の男性が3つのペンネームを使い分けているのだろうというのが、大多数の意見だった。
果たして、この3人の作家はどのような素性を持つ人物だったのだろうか? ハワースを語る際に欠くことのできない3姉妹、その中でも「母親」的存在であったシャーロット・ブロンテを中心に話していこう。 (Read more) (Translation)
Le Figaro (France) is all for the Victorian blouse in the new fashion season:
Depuis quelques saisons, l’époque victorienne inspire les collections de prêt-à-porter des créateurs. Façon romantique chez Valentino ou gothique pour Marc Jacobs, on rêve de s’habiller en héroïne évanescente des romans des sœurs Brontë. La pièce la plus accessible de ce vestiaire un brin puritain reste la blouse victorienne. Avec son col qui remonte droit sur le cou et ses broderies anglaises, on peut l’adopter facilement sans paraître déguisée. (Anthony Vincent) (Translation)
Bay Weekly lists mid-summer reads, like Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair; Linnet Moss discusses the  Jane Eyre engagement scene again both on page and screen; Reader, I Blogged it... reviews Wuthering Heights.


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