Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:27 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
It's Branwell's 201st birthday today!

The production of Brontë: The World Without at Stratford Festival is reviewed by Broadway World.
The performances are all great. All three actresses bring life to their characters and have a spot on sisterly chemistry with one another. Beryl Bain brings wisdom and strength to the character of Charlotte Brontë. It is clear the character feels the weight of her family on her shoulders, and when her eyesight declines, we really only hear about it from the other characters. Charlotte's focus is always on the family and/or her writing. As Emily, Jessica B. Hill takes on the challenge or portraying a bit of an enigma. There is limited information out there about the reclusive author of "Wuthering Heights" and there are some who believe that the information that is available is a sort of re-imagining of Emily by Charlotte. The choice is made in this production to explore Emily's struggle with anxiety. She has a panic attack when she discovers that her sister has read her poetry, and based on how her sisters react, we are to assume that she has struggled with this before. There is also mention of her becoming ill whenever she has tried to leave home for a period of time. It is interesting that when Emily has a coughing fit due to Tuberculosis later in the play, it initially presents quite similarly to her panic attack-perhaps causing some confusion to her siblings about what is actually wrong. The way this is presented amplifies the idea that throughout her entire life, Emily was plagued with struggles and health issues that those around her did not quite understand. Hill's portrayal of Emily is that of a tortured yet brilliant and loving soul who writes because she has to-to the point where she does not even (initially) need to have her work seen by anyone.
As Anne, the youngest of the three sisters, Andrea Rankin plays the role of baby of the family very well. She is close with Emily but they still playfully fight, and her emotional distance from Charlotte seems to come from a place of insecurity in her fear of being compared to her. Rankin brings humour to the role as Anne impatiently awaits Charlotte's return so that the three sisters can open a piece of mail and find out if a publisher has chosen to go forward with any of their books. She tugs at the heart strings as she desperately tries to carve her own place in history.
The first half of the play is primarily an introduction to these three characters and their dynamics with one another. It ends with them realizing that perhaps their passion for writing could help bring in the money they desperately need for their father's eye operation. The second half has them all feverishly writing and jealously eyeing the reviews that they each are (or are not) receiving. The competitiveness of each woman is fascinating to observe. Whereas the competition seems to spur Charlotte on, it sends Emily into an introspective tailspin wherein she focuses on, and collects the most scathing reviews of "Wuthering Heights". What is devastating is that had she not gotten sick, that tailspin likely would have eventually produced another classic novel. Anne just wants to be noticed, her fear being that she will not be remembered at all. These emotions are all very relatable and each sister's respective struggle resonates with the audience in different ways.
I will note that this play will likely be best enjoyed by a rather specific audience-those who have an interest in the lives of the Brontë sisters, but do not know a great deal about them. I personally fit that description perfectly, but there will be some folks who may not find the content to be quite as captivating. Others may contest the characterization of these women, based on the ideas they have previously formulated on their own. (Lauren Gienow)
Vulture has an article on 'The Radical Self-Sufficiency of Mia Wasikowska'.
In a run of period pieces — Cary Fukunaga’s lyrical rendition of Jane Eyre in 2011, and then in 2012, downer Mrs. Doubtfire riff Albert Nobbs and the audacious bootlegger epic Lawless — she exposed what festered below the genteel surfaces of the past. Sometimes, it was a personal hardship; she approached Charlotte Brontë’s text with an understanding that it’s a tragedy far more frequently than it is a romance, wearing her stern countenance like armor she removes only for her Michael Fassbender–played Rochester. (Jane Eyre earned her a comparison to Isabelle Huppert in the pages of Time, her spiritual godmother in prickliness.) (Charles Bramesco)
Bolsamanía (Spain) reviews a production of Lucia de Lammermoor at the Teatro Real.
El montaje no prescinde de la escena final del cementerio, la muerte de Edgardo, que podríamos enlazar con el inicio, Lucia durmiendo en la cama del psiquiátrico, otra vez a punto de revivirlo todo en un bucle interminable. Por eso, Lucia no solo dialoga con Marie, sino con Emma Bovary o Anna Karenina, dos novelas donde aparece la ópera, pero también con la loca del ático de Jane Eyre o la señora Dalloway, con un coro de mujeres que, desde la historia, nos dicen que no son histéricas, sino que están rotas. (Jorge Dioni) (Translation)
Jane Eyre's Library shows a part of her Jane Eyre collection. Literary Leisha posts about Alexa Donne's Brightly Burning.


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