Saturday, March 11, 2017

Willamette Week reviews the Bag & Baggage's Brontë performances in Hillsboro:
(Picture Credits: Casey Campbell, Source)
Bag & Baggage didn't plan to stage Brontë in a public library. But weeks before the show about the three Brontë sisters opened, the company was informed of the pending sale of the Venetian Theatre, its venue for more than a decade. With limited venue options in Hillsboro, the significantly smaller Hillsboro Brookwood Library was its best bet. So in the company's immersive production, the Brontë sisters lead the audience past bookshelves displaying a Star Wars novel and posters of Nathan Fillion and Taylor Swift.
But it's not difficult to ignore the library's vestiges of modernity: Director Michelle Milne has configured the play for the library so skillfully it's difficult to imagine enjoying Brontë anywhere else. By weaving the lives of Charlotte and her sisters through doorways and between bookshelves, she has created a production that physically unfolds. (...)
Yet Milne's inventive staging and the cast's dexterous navigation of fierce emotional waters keep Brontë from descending into oppressive bleakness, allowing you to forget that you're sitting in a modern library and, for just over two hours, to take part in the Brontës' strange and lonely lives.  (Bennett Campbell Ferguson)
The Irish Times recommends the Dublin performances of the same Polly Teale play, Brontë:
Illustrated Productions present the Irish premiere of Brontë by Polly Teale at dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum, March 16th-18th, at 8pm, with a 1.30pm matinee on Saturday. Emily, Charlotte and Anne face their brother’s decline into alcoholism and insanity. As chaos descends on the household, the sisters begin to write, creating works of art that would reach the hearts of millions and span centuries.
University Times reviews the production:
The set is simple yet reflective of the loneliness of the English moors and ends up being a smart choice. The arches overlooking the stage speak volumes themselves as spaces of solitude and natural power. The costuming is, thankfully, not overplayed in its period details though some character changes could have used with more differentiation. Overall the creative team’s efforts fit cohesively with Clare Maguire’s vision of success and pressure, not particularly overshadowing any other as the sisters oft do to each other.
Although the play may sound alienating to those who are not already fans of the Brontë’s work, it still contains necessary explanation to newcomers of the literary giants and their live. Illustrated Productions’s adaptation is faithful to its vision of taking works that spark the audience’s imagination through powerful texts that can gain another dimension of intrigue through interrogating visual aesthetics. Even if it may take a while to find its feet, Brontë proves to be a worthwhile experience for the literary, theatrical enthusiast or just those curious about the complexities of the human condition. (David Donovan)
TheaterMania presents the performances of Jen Silverman's The Moors in New York:
Jen Silverman's The Moors celebrated its opening night at the Duke on 42nd Street on March 9. The Playwrights Realm production runs through March 25 under the direction of Mike Donahue.
The play is described as follows: "Dreaming of love and power, two sisters and their dog live out their lives on the bleak English moors, the vast, desolate landscape of northern England. With the arrival of a hapless governess and a moor-hen, lies are revealed and loyalties shift as all are set on a strange and dangerous path. Inspired by the lives and work of the Brontë sisters, Silverman's wild, rugged, and inhospitable moors become a backdrop against which women can dream of a better life, and a metaphor for the freedom and strength wherein people can reinvent themselves. Escaping the trappings of a seemingly Victorian setting, The Moors invites the audience to travel into a surreal world that subverts those ideals of power structures, gender and class."
The Irish Examiner reviews Samantha Ellis's Take Courage:
It’s a robust, emotionally charged defence of the writer, whose death aged 29 left us with just a handful of poems and two novels, Agnes Grey and The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall.
Ellis’ main problem is that there is very little information, and very few certified facts, on which to build a whole picture of Anne — her hair colour can’t even be agreed upon — but the one she does manage to draw is of a woman misunderstood by historians and obscured by her sisters (Charlotte burned a lot of her work after she died), despite a mind blindingly sharp and progressive. (Ella Walker)
The Herald mentions the book A Drink of One’s Own: Cocktails for Literary Ladies:
And it is outdated stereotypes around gender, literature and alcohol that Laura Becherer and Cameo Marlatt, authors of A Drink of One’s Own: Cocktails for Literary Ladies, hope to break. The book, a beautiful little hardback, brings together 50 cocktails inspired by 50 great women writers, with each mini-spread featuring a profile and drawing of a writer accompanied by the recipe for a drink inspired by her life and work.
It’s a fascinating journey through literary history that goes from the likes of Jane Austen and the Brontës through Dorothy Parker, Simone de Beauvoir, Maya Angelou and Doris Lessing, and right up to date with Zadie Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Glasgow’s own Louise Welsh and Zoe Strachan. (Marianne Taylor
BlogCritics reviews You and Me: The Neuroscience of Identity by Susan Greenfield:
Her Literary Asides are perhaps the wonderful purl stitches of the book, standing out and holding everything together. For instance, she concludes with a wonderful thought from Emily Brontë about life dreams “that have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind” (140). Versions of this wonderful quote occur transformed twice in the book as a thematic lodestone. Before citing the entire Brontë quote, Greenfield writes, “Nor is it obvious even what kind of scenario one could expect to address the riddle of how the water of the physical brain and body is transformed into the wine of first-hand experience” (Linda Chown)
Mental Floss recommends some colouring books. Including Wuthering Heights, illustrated by Elisabetta Stoinich:
Emily Brontë's gothic novel paints a pretty vivid picture of the Yorkshire moors, and the misty landscapes and brooding characters make for excellent subjects in a coloring book. Each illustration is coupled with a quote from the book, so you can relive the drama once again as you color. (Alvin Ward)
The Guardian vindicates the painter GF Watts:
The great Victorians who made our modern world are in the process of turning 200. Dickens, Darwin and Charlotte Brontë all recently celebrated their landmark birthdays while younger peers – George Eliot, Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria herself – are getting ready for their big day. Last month it was the turn of the artist GF Watts to blow out the candles and contemplate two centuries of being feted and ignored in equal measure. (Kathryn Hughes)
A clip from the upcoming Terrence Malick film Song to Song is discussed on Rolling Stone:
Terrence Malick’s new movie Song To Song premieres at SXSW today (and is in select theaters next Friday, 3/17), and today a clip featuring Patti Smith giving some life advice to Rooney Mara has surfaced via Rolling Stone. In the clip, she talks about the death of her husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith, who died in 1994. “I never thought I would live long,” she says. “You know, I’d be an artist and die young of tuberculosis or something, like Charlotte Brontë.” Smith also contributed an unreleased song to the film, “God Running.” (Jon Blistein)
Laurie Hertzel discusses a year of reading in The Star-Tribune:
I signed up for the autobiography committee, because I am deeply interested in memoir, and for the biography committee because I am nuts. No, no, no, not nuts — I have read many excellent biographies this year, and of such unexpected people: Charlotte Brontë and Thomas de Quincey and Black Elk and Bram Stoker and Patty Hearst and Ernest Hemingway and the cartoonist who created Krazy Kat. Also, Roosevelt (Franklin), and Roosevelt (Eleanor).
Palatinate highlights seven female directors you should know. Like Andrea Arnold:
[H]er take on Wuthering Heights has some of the most profound cinematography I have ever seen. (Cherry Ng)
What does a woman want? in Delo (Slovenia):
Zakaj je bil zame njegov darcin tako usoden? Ker je bil čudaški, skrivnosten, trmast in ker se je zaljubil v Elizabeth Bennet, čeprav ni bila bogata, bila pa je pametna, predrzna, romantična. Darcy se vsega tega ni bal, ampak mu je bilo celo všeč, in si ni želel, da bi se spremenila. Ljubil jo je takšno, kakršna je bila. Tudi neukrotljivi Heathcliff iz Viharnega vrha Emily Brontë se mi je zdel poln nevarne ljubezenske strasti in divja sila narave, drugačen od Edwarda Rochesterja, temačnega skrivnostneža z vrtinčasto preteklostjo, ki ga je v Jane Eyre ustvarila Charlotte Brontë in je prav tako zažigal mojo domišljijo. (Irena Štaudohar) (Translation)
L'Union (France) talks about a young writer, Emma Pietrement:
Inspirée par la littérature anglo saxonne, de Charlotte Brontë à Jane Austen sans oublier Anna Todd, la jeune femme a d'abord exercé son art dans le plus : « Elle nous l’a caché pendant très longtemps », dévoile Yvette, sa maman, les yeux remplis de fierté. (Translation)
We found this deeply disturbing and depressing. Vogue (Spain) talks about the latest fashion accessory: a book.
Ojo, ya lo vimos en el desfile de Gucci –que ahora mismo es como el faro cuya luz guía al resto de la industria de la moda–, en el que las modelos escondían libros de Jane Austen en el interior de sus preciosos bolsos. Y si Gucci, y ahora Rihanna, lo afirman, hablamos de una tendencia que va a materializarse y punto. Se acabó lo de ahorrar para adquirir carísimos accesorios, ahora las ediciones más antiguas ya valiosas de Crimen y Castigo o Cumbres Borrascosas son tus mejores aliados. (María Mérida) (Translation)
El Mundo (Spain) interviews the composer Clara Peya, author and performer of the music for the Jane Eyre adaptation currently on stage in Barcelona:
Estos días, y tras debutar en el ciclo Off Liceu que busca agitar la creación vocal actual, pone música -creación e interpretación en directo- a Jane Eyre, la aplaudida adaptación teatral de la novela de Charlotte Brontë que puede verse en el Teatre Lliure hasta el próximo 26 de marzo. Un trabajo que la acerca a un prototipo de mujer fuerte y luchadora que encaja de lleno con su decidida personalidad.
«Seguro que tengo cosas en común con Jane Eyre, porque lo que me interesa son las mujeres empoderadas», asegura Clara Peya, feminista declarada y que se define a sí misma como «alguien inquieto, en eterna búsqueda y que a través de una manera de tocar muy propia busca remodelarse y renovarse». (Ana María Dávila) (Translation)
Expreso (in Spanish) recommends visiting Haworth:
¿Qué sería de los héroes literarios británicos sin los apasionados Heathcliff o Mr Rochester? Ambas creaciones, obra de Charlotte y Emily Brontë en los respectivos trabajos de Jane Eyre y Cumbres Borrascosas, son conmemoradas junto a su hermana Anna, autora de La inquilina de Wildfell Hall en el Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Las tres talentosas hermanas elaboraron sus éxitos en la casa parroquial de Haworth, al norte de Yorkshire. A 90 minutos en coche de York y fueron influenciadas por los dramáticos y robustos páramos del condado de Yorkshire. (Translation)
Humo (Belgium) has a list of the most British songs ever:
Smachtend op de ‘wiley, windy moors’: achttien was Kate Bush toen ze een song schreef vanuit het perspectief van hoofdpersonage Cathy uit ‘Wuthering Heights’ van Emily Brontë. Vele jaren later zou Florence Welch al het Engelse aan Kate Bush overdrijven tot in het absurde, en er nog succes mee boeken ook. (Translation)
La Stampa (Italy) reviews the film The Light Between the Oceans:
Nella prima parte Cianfrance affonda nel melò con una potenza di linguaggio degna di Cime tempestose, poi nello snodarsi degli eventi, la maniera prevale: ma che maniera! E che attori! (Alessandra Levantesi Kezich) (Translation)
Tonight (9 pm), Wuthering Heights 1992 on Sky Passion (Italy). A young actor that will be performing in the upcoming The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Bolton performances in The Bolton News.

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