Saturday, October 08, 2016

Saturday, October 08, 2016 10:02 am by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
Despite its five-person cast of spikey characters, all socially awkward in their own way, Villette remains a love story about surviving and finding a voice. Playhouse Director Mark Rosenblatt finds a perfect balance between the atmospheric and endearing, eliciting faultless performances through minimal interactions and scanty additional props/costumes. Matching its source material in an ambiguous and defiant but optimistic final line (“We will love”), Villette is a hauntingly beautiful piece of theatre that much like the rich language of its precursor, would benefit from revisits. (Jim Seton)
And Burnley Express reviews the Rossendale Players production of Blake Morrison's We Are Three Sisters:
Players newcomer Sophie Longmire played the remaining sister Emily, with a quiet, shy and stubborn manner, which the middle sister was well-known for. I longed to hear the characters talk about the inspirations behind their tragically few novels – Emily only lived long enough to pen the classic “Wuthering Heights” – but none were mentioned explicitly in the play. That said, there were some very atmospheric howling wind sound effects blowing into the family’s parsonage from the moors, no doubt one of the inspirations for Wuthering Heights. Comic relief is provided in the shape of several supporting characters including Maureen Jackson as the straight-speaking housekeeper Tabby, Stephen Woods as the camp and colourful teacher, and Rebecca Crampton as the vivacious and adulterous Lydia Robinson. The remaining, less well-known sibling – the drunken, opium-addicted black sheep of the family Branwell was played well by Patrick Duffy. A talented artist and poet in his own right, Branwell became embroiled in an affair with the married Mrs Robinson and also ran up huge gambling debts. Indeed, this forms part of the tension of the play as it no doubt did in real life. That and the sisters’ attempts to have their work published in the male dominated world of the time. (...)
Fans of Brontë, and those who have never read one of their novels, will love this production which has just the right balance of pathos and humour. (Dominic Collis)
Elisabeta Abrahall's new Wuthering Heights film has a new and younger cast addition. In The Hereford Times:
Few People are given their first ‘job’ at just three weeks old.
But Izabell Sullivan’s career path could already be laid out, after landing a starring role in a new version of Wuthering Heights, when she saved the day last week.
Antoinette Sullivan was drinking coffee in Hereford’s Starbucks last Wednesday when Paul Eryk Atlas, the actor playing Heathcliff, appealed for a stand-in baby after the original youngest cast member was unable to make it from Birmingham.
Mrs Sullivan, 29, said: “I was sat with a friend having a coffee with the baby and the guy who plays Heathcliff came in.
“I said ‘am I seeing things, or are people dressed up?’” (Jess Phillips)
Next week it will be revealed which city will host the Great Northern Exhibition 2018. BBC News summarises the claims of the different candidate cities. Including Bradford:
Local heroes will also be celebrated - artist David Hockney has been invited to create a new work and the Brontë sisters will be commemorated on the 200th anniversary of Emily's birth. (Ian Youngs)
Stourbridge News talks about the local soprano Lorraine Payne:
Windows may be rattling in the Old Quarter this month as a Stourbridge soprano prepares for her role in the world premiere of Jayne (sic) Eyre - the opera.
Lorraine Payne has been singing for 21 years with Birmingham amateur opera company Midland Opera, taking on more than 15 principal roles, but she says she never planned on trying to become a professional singer.
However - within just two weeks of taking time off the stage to concentrate on her graphic design business - opportunity knocked when she was approached to audition for the world premiere of Jayne (sic) Eyre, which is being recorded live at Birmingham's Ruddock Hall for a CD. (Bev Holder)
Financial Times reviews The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography by Edmund Gordon,
She is a sixth-former discovering Baudelaire and Rimbaud, and an undergraduate racing though the canon from Emma (“Ugh!”) to Molloy (“why can’t I write like bloody Beckett”). As she worked on Love, she kept returning to her chosen teachers: Nabokov “for precision” and Emily Brontë “for passion”. (Alexandra Harris)
On the same newspaper, a review of the film Me Before You:
Pull your moral blinkers on tight enough and there’s a sweet Jane Eyre-meets-Rochester romance to be found in Thea Sharrock’s adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ popular novel. (Harriet Fitch Little)
And Danny Leigh describes Wuthering Heights 2009 as an unhappy version in the same journal. Incidentally, Il Sole (Italy) reviews André Téchiné's Quand on a 17 ans and says:
Thom abita in una arretrata fattoria di montagna e impiega un’ora e mezza a scendere a valle ogni giorno. Sembra l’Heathcliff di Cime tempestose di Andrea Arnold, solitario, impotente verso se stesso e le pulsioni che lo muovono. (Translation)
Jeannette Winterson does not condone Elena Ferrante's forced unmasking in The Guardian:
[Claudio]Gatti tells us that a decade ago a team at La Sapienza University, Rome, analysed the books using software programs and decided that they were written by Domenico Starnone – a writer who happens to be the husband of the woman who is and is not Elena Ferrante.
That must have been a relief to those who still want to believe that Branwell Brontë wrote everything for his mousy sisters, or that Willy really did write Colette’s masterpieces, and that only a man can write about women – or write about anything, which is, after all, the basis of the literature myth. JK Rowling knew boys wouldn’t read her books if she was called Joanne. Later, wanting a fresh start from both Harry Potter and from herself, she chose the name Robert Galbraith – definitely male, and soon unmasked. 
The same journal also talks about the Ferrante affair here:
Horace Walpole, all three Brontës and George Eliot all had noms de plume, and Eliot’s stuck. Even today, the famously anonymous are everywhere you look. (Leo Benedictus)
Penguin lists the favourite books of Sophie Kinsella:
How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis
A bit of non-fiction with a great premise: the author revisits all her favourite literary heroines, from the Little Mermaid to Lizzy Bennet, Jane Eyre and beyond. It's fascinating to read her take on them all.
USA Today talks about celebrity readers in audiobooks:
"There is a special magic in audiobook performance. Being read to is one of the most comforting and nourishing bits of stimulus that exists. It's a luxury and a pleasure," says Thandie Newton, who read Jane Eyre for the leading audiobook publisher, Audible, founded in 1995. Listening hours this year are on track to top 2 billion hours of programming, doubling since 2014, according to Audible figures. (Maria Puente)
The Saturday Paper reviews The Better Son by Katherine Johnson:
In true Gothic style, there are plenty of illegitimate children, books and poems are liberally cited, and letters and diaries are used – often clumsily and unnecessarily – to elucidate plot points. The novel, like Brontë’s Jane Eyre, also attempts to cover a lengthy period of time, which includes Kip’s stint in a boarding school prior to his successful career as an academic in Holland. However, with a far shorter page count than Jane Eyre, these episodes are treated in an inelegantly compressed and unconvincing fashion. (KN)
Bookriot on the seasons and authors:
To get a handle on how this works, let us look at a set of classic falls: the Brontës. The Brontës are an overwhelmingly Novemberishbunch. In fact, I would go so far as to say that fall is essentially just Brontë season. Part of this, of course, is the backdrop to their writing: there nothing more autumnal than mist and moors, gales and crags, and gloomy, magnificent manses. But it’s more than just setting and atmosphere; there is a distinctly autumnal quality to the wild, passionate yearning feelings of their work. Charlotte Brontë’s novels, for example, teeters perpetually on the edge of bittersweetness, where both misery and joy seem just around the corner. There is a transient, liminal quality to any happiness in her novels that is quite fall-like: a golden glow never quite untouched by bitter winds to come, possibility seemingly thwarted almost the moment it arrives.
Then when we think of Anne, we must remember that fall is also an as-yet-still-suppressed raging against the dying of the year. It is for the stern jut of a small chin against a hectic storm and encroaching frost. And do you know how each fall there is at least one day when it is unexpectedly cold and windy, and you forget your hat and the wind howls mercilessly around your frozen ears no matter how firmly you clench your jaw against it, and even when you get home and warm up there remains a bitter ache in your ears and the corner of your jaw so deep you it feels as if it has been lodged directly in your skull? That ache is exactly Wuthering Heights. (Maddie Rodriguez)
And BuzzFeed lists things you learn after living in Yorkshire for five years:
23. Driving across the moors without belting out “Wuthering Heights” is physically impossible.
24. “I’m so co-o-o-o-ld. Let me in your windooooooooow.” (Rachael Gibson)
BollySpice reviews the film Mirzya:
Curiously Gulzar seems to borrow some of the film’s external and interior worlds from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. The stable-boy Adil that Harshvardhan plays could be Heathcliff from any era (considering Mehra’s penchant for era-less drama). The debutant plays the tormented lover-boy using his eyes that speak a million words of recrimination. Harshvardhan’s forte is pain and hurt. He expresses these with an honesty reminiscent of Dilip Kumar in Dil Diya Dard Liya. (Subhash K Jha)
Trendencias (Spain) lists writers with few but very significant works, including Emily Brontë:
La mayor de las tres hermanas Brontë que han pasado a la historia de la literatura solo escribió una novela. Al igual que Charlotte y Anne, Emily tuvo una salud delicada hasta su muerte por tuberculosis, cuando solo tenía 30 años.
Nunca sabremos si su obra habría sido más extensa si su vida también lo hubiera sido, pero no se le puede negar que dejó para la historia un clásico inolvidable: Cumbres borrascosas, con su innovadora estructura (que desconcertó a la crítica del siglo XIX) y la complicada y visceral historia de amor de Headcliff y Catherine. (Abril Camino) (Translation)
e-cartelera (Spain) reviews A Quiet Passion by Terence Davies:
Tratada con una asombra exquisitez, Davies crea una magnífica ambientación en la que se ve su buena mano para el cine de época. En ese sentido, el cineasta parece haberse inspirado en el cine de David Lean, Billy Wilder o John Huston. Se pueden apreciar semejanzas con 'La vida manda', la melodramática 'Cumbres borrascosas', o en la melancólica 'Dublineses'. (Translation)
απέραντο γαλάζιο (in Greek) posts about Wuthering Heights.


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