Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018 11:23 am by Cristina in , , , , , , , ,    No comments
More reviews of Wasted today. The Guardian gives it 4 out of 5 stars.
Photo credit: Helen Maybanks
The lives of the Brontë sisters were far from rock’n’roll. Charlotte, Emily and Anne di
d not live fast or love hard, even if they did die young (through ill health). Those biographical facts have not stopped the makers of Wasted from reincarnating them as eyeliner-wearing metal-heads with plenty of Romantic spirit. Dressed in 19th-century governess dresses, they headbang their life stories to a live rock band, and at times camp up their tragedies.
Strangely, it works – partly because of the fantastically witty book and lyrics by Carl Miller. His words carry their learning lightly, but there is enough depth of characterisation and scholarship to save the piece from cliche.
Its success is also down to the cast, both in how they inhabit their parts and their vocal strength. Natasha Barnes is brilliant as the pragmatic older sister, Charlotte, riven by self-doubt but determined to be recognised for her work (“Fuck off, I’m writing Jane Eyre,” she tells Anne). Siobhan Athwal steals the show as Emily, the twitching, death-obsessed nihilist who looks like a cross between Alice Cooper and Kate Bush. Athwal’s Emily is, unsurprisingly, a tortured spirit – “I’m a goth before my time.” Despite the hammed-up ethereality, her performance is spellbinding. Molly Lynch is the most sedate of the sisters as Anne, though there is humorous angst around the lack of eligible men in her life as a curate’s daughter.
There is also their drink-and-drugs-addicted brother Branwell (Matthew Jacobs Morgan), the only real rock’n’roll Brontë. Morgan is comically narcissistic but not nearly dissolute or brutish enough. [...]
Despite its length (three hours, with perhaps a few too many songs) and a pile-up of sibling deaths at the end, Wasted manages to be a lot of fun and gives the Brontë legend a mischievous new spin. (Arifa Akbar)
Broadway World UK gives it 4 stars out of 5 too.
Barnes exudes confidence but isn't afraid to show her flaws when Charlotte becomes controlling; even though Morgan's Branwell means well, he is cocky and brash while he briefly stands in the way of his sisters' dreams; Anne's caring but tough attitude is conveyed by Lynch in heartfelt tones; and Athwal's bearing recalls Helena Bonham Carter's Bellatrix Lestrange.
Music is at the centre of the scene throughout the show: every letter and prop is related to it, from sheet music to all the padded aluminium cases they use as props. As they enter, the actors plug in their microphones to the outlets in the middle of Libby Todd's wooden stage, a large square made out of wooden planks.
The lighting design by Matt Daw and Sam Waddington is focused and gives the already energetic vibe the last spur of stamina. A live four-piece band plays at the back, removed from the action but part of it nonetheless. Power ballads are scattered around a tireless and catchy score.
Ash's music and Miller's lyrics marry together well, projecting each Brontë's singular style through their songs. They build a well-rounded hymn to writing and perseverance in adversity, elevating the writers to examples by showing the (obviously dramatised) reality behind the wordsmiths. Essentially, Wasted is an anthem of independence and creativity while simultaneously pays its humble respects to struggle and hard times. (Cindy Marcolina)
Time Out gives it 3 stars out of 5.
It’s amazing what you can do with a raised wooden platform, four actors and a band. You could, for example, stage a very small rock gig. Or you could put on a play about the Brontë siblings, from their frustratingly bonded lives in Haworth, the rise of their ambitions, the sisters’ few hot years in the limelight and the untimely deaths that met three-quarters of them within just eight months.
‘Wasted’ does both.
If you’re a literature fan hoping for an evocative exploration of the lives of brilliant Anne, Charlotte, Emily, and mediocre Branwell, this isn’t it. Christopher Ash’s score has a handful of thrashing bangers, but the first half of this nearly three-hour production would have been more audible and less of a drag if about a third of the songs had been dialogue. Those moved by the passion and intensity of the Brontës’ novels might find some of Carl Miller’s lyrics (‘Some curates are nervy / some are pervy’) a bit off-key.
But if you’re watching a rock musical about the Brontës, you’re probably more likely to be someone who read ‘Wuthering Heights’ and thought it was the kind of emo you wanted to get behind. With its frequent comedic turns, larger-than-life drama, gawking sentimentality and, above all, the songs that are bangers, ‘Wasted’ has been created for you.
Natasha J Barnes’s Charlotte Brontë is the most complex character, hinting at quiet inner turmoil and a perceptive kindness. Barnes has a gorgeous, powerful voice and gives a rip-roaring performance in the audience-pleaser ‘(Extra)ordinary Woman’, about the writing of ‘Jane Eyre’. Molly Lynch’s Anne Brontë is marriage-obsessed and a bit wet, and Matthew Jacobs Morgan’s Branwell is a humorous manchild.
Siobhan Athwal’s Emily steals the show, snaking around like Fairuza Balk in ‘The Craft’, her voice swirling between haunting high notes and sullen thunder. Athwal’s rap as Poet Laureate Robert Southey (who advised Charlotte that women shouldn’t write), and her performance of ‘Before My Time’, a song about being goth, is worth the price of admission alone.
Too long and yet crammed edge-to-edge with hilarity, shouting and big fat guitar riffs, ‘Wasted’ isn’t for literary types or anyone who likes nuance in their theatre. But if Victoriana and ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ are up your street, you might have found your play. (KA Bradley)
Quite predictably, The Times gives it just one star out of 5.
With book and lyrics by Carl Miller and music by Christopher Ash, it is the opposite of hagiography. It begins with the three sisters and their useless brother bemoaning the horror of being nobodies stuck in the middle of nowhere. The lyrics include the catchy, if deeply un-Brontë, line: “Why the f*** are we stuck in Haworth?”
Wrong question, I thought. “If I stay here,” they sing. “Wasted!” One of the sisters (Emily, the wild one) indulges in something that can only be called creep dancing; later she runs around hugging an amplifier that is a stand-in for her dog Keeper (the amplifier barks), and sings a rather funny song about being a goth before her time. (...)
Adam Lenson directs a production that is too long and wildly uneven. (Ann Treneman)
Aftonbladet (Sweden) features Wuthering Heights, deeming it the most explosive love story in world literature.
Emily Brontë (1818–1847), målad av sin bror Patrick Branwell Brontë.
Heathcliff är inte särskilt trevlig. Han är tjurig, våldsam och lynnig. Han skiter i konventioner, oftast på ren trots, och brister i både personlig hygien och vanligt hyfs. Hans mörka hår är långt och vildvuxet. Ändå ses Emily Brontës romanfigur som själva arketypen för den romantiska hjälten och Svindlande höjder fortsätter att toppa bästsäljarlistorna för klassiker – efter 170 år. Hur är det möjligt?
Men Svindlande höjder är ingen kärlekshistoria, i alla fall inte en traditionell sådan. Att kalla den för det är att förenkla boken, och därmed också upphovskvinnan själv som i år skulle ha fyllt 200 år. Heathcliff är en mästerlig karaktär i en lika mästerlig bok – just för att han inte är särskilt älskvärd. (Caroline Hainer) (Translation)
Nerdist discusses American Horror Story: Apocalypse.
And above even that, it’s fun to see the show going for something so bold and visionary. As Michael’s carriage approached the eerily monolithic Outpost 3, like Dracula through the Romanian fog, I thought of a gothic romance—of Wuthering Heights, with the smoke of nuclear winter instead of mist-draped British moors. If Apocalypse sticks to this arch, seductive palette, this could be the most delectable season yet. Only time will tell. (Lindsey Romain)
Den of Geek! reviews Vox by Christina Dalcher.
Even in her relative silence, Jean makes contemplations about language that say more than she says. Everything has more meaning, even when she's making fun of how, in the old days, words were wasted on euphemisms and metaphors: “No one dies from love outside of a Bronte novel or eats entire horses or lays his life on the line for a baseball game. No one. But we say this garbage all the time.” (Bridget LaMonica)
Vulture interviews Emma Thompson.
Along those lines, when you were adapting Sense and Sensibility, In addition to writing the screenplay adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, Thompson co-starred as Elinor Dashwood, along seemingly every name British actor of the time (Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, etc). Ang Lee directed the 1995 film and if you want to read a charming account of its making, Thompson’s The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries is the place to go.  how difficult was it to write for the mind-set of characters created in 1811? Did you have to stop yourself and think, would they use this word or this is not an idea they would’ve had? It’s a really good question. I’ve read so much literature from that period that I’m slightly more versed in that language than I am in the modern day. So writing Austen-ian I actually didn’t find that challenging. I mean, as I was growing up there was an internal moral pugilism going on in my head that was influenced by the writing of Austen and George Eliot, but also Henry James, Edith Wharton, and the Brontës. There was this battle going on inside where I was trying to be wild and free, and I had one voice going, “You slut. You’ll never be any good. You’re morally degenerate.” And another going, “Live! Live! You have to live!” (David Marchese)
Página 12 (Argentina) says the credit given to Charlotte Brontë for creating the first plain heroine is misplaced.
Se dice que fue Charlotte Brontë la primera en cometer la osadía de proponer una heroína fea en Jane Eyre, a la que por supuesto imaginamos dotada de una belleza no convencional antes que inmirable. Pero muchos años antes, en 1813, Jane Austen había sentado las bases para un personaje así con Elizabeth Bennet, que era “la segunda en belleza” de las cinco hermanas Bennet y se destacaba más por su inteligencia, ingenio y cultura que por su cara. (Translation)
Finally, a lovely illustration shared on Twitter:

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