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Brave Theatre presens
Written and performed by: Mel Dodge
Directed by: Lyndee-Jane Rutherford
Charlotte Brontë has a secret. In fact secrets seem to run in the family... How could an unmarried woman living in a secluded parsonage, with only her sisters for company, write one of the World's greatest love stories? She had tasted love and her secrets echo in the pages if Jane Eyre.
Miss Brontë tells the story of Charlotte Brontë, left alone after the death of her beloved sisters and brother. In an isolated parsonage on the bleak Yorkshire Moors, with only her father for company, she must find a way to continue to write. Her publisher has asked her to prepare a preface for a reprinted volume of her sister’s novels, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. She intends to tell the world the
truth about her family. She explains their creative childhood, their wretched years as governesses, her brother’s alcohol and opium addiction and their plan to become published authors under male pseudonyms.
In searching through her documents she finds a letter suggesting the existence of an unfinished manuscript by her sister Emily. In her search for the hidden document she discloses a secret of her
own. Charlotte had fallen in love with her married French professor. She wrote love letters to him for years. All of her heroes, including Mr Rochester, and the subject matter of many of her novels are based on her love for him.
She explains the horrific deaths of her siblings, the glorious joy of their success and the bitter despair of being judged, not as an author, but as a woman. At the end of the play, the audience is left with a sense of the courage, tenacity and passion that made her work so alluring.
As the audience leaves, they are given a letter from Mrs Gaskell, Charlotte’s friend and biographer, describing some further details of her life, including her short marriage, death and her professor’s response to her letters. He had torn them to pieces and his wife had found them, carefully sewed them back together and kept them for the rest of her life. They are now in the British Museum.
Miss Brontë is based on extensive research into the life of Charlotte and her family. Seventy-five percent of the words come from Charlotte’s own letters and novels. The rest is crafted by Mel Dodge through biographical information. A one-woman show, with beautifully hand-made prop and ostume, it is an intense, absorbing 75 minutes of storytelling at its best.
August 21, 2 pm, Ruffy Hall, Ruffy, Victoria
August 23, 8 pm, Mooroolbark Community Centre, Mooroolbark, Victoria
August 25, 26, 7.30 pm, Forge Theatre and Arts Hub, Bairnsdale, Victoria
August 26, 2 pm, Nyerimilang Heritage Park, Lakes Entrance, Victoria
August 27, 8:00 pm, John Leslie Theatre, Sale, Victoria
September 1, 7 pm, Altona Theatre, Altona, Victoria
September 3, 7.30pm, Portland Arts Centre, Portland, Victoria
September 8,9, 8 pm; September 10, 2 pm, Queanbeyan Performing Arts, Queanbeyan, NSW