Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:02 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
WhatsOnStage reviews the current performances of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall at Arnos Val Cemetery in Bristol, part of the LiveWire Theatre and Butterfly Psyche Theatre Brontë season, and gives it 4 out of 5 stars.
Performed in the atmospheric surroundings of Arnos Vale Cemetery, Alison Farina's moving stage adaption sees just two actors on stage throughout the performance, each representing a multitude of carefully defined characters. The speed at which the actors switch between roles to narrate the story is extremely impressive. From youthful humour to lustful conceptions the characters are near-faultlessly played. Both Madeline Ryan and Tom Turner shift between these opposing roles across both genders with accuracy and wit.
Directed by Shane Morgan, the choice of soundtrack (by Bradford –Upon – Avon based Wasuremono) is apt for the production, sparsely using modern alternative music to compliment the minimalist set and timeless costume. There is no frivolity or grandeur to stifle the lesson behind the story and this is an astute director's choice, leaving the audience to focus on the characters and how their actions affect others within the plot.
Despite being just an hour and a half long, due to the nature of the story and the depiction of time passing slowly and painfully through an abusive relationship, the play does seem – only very slightly – too lengthy towards the end and could perhaps be split in to two halves. However, this may awkwardly divide the plot and I can understand the avoidance of having an interval in such a gripping tale. [...]
If you are looking for a thought-provoking night at the theatre, this is the play for you. (Hannah Sweetnam)
While the Notre Dame and Saint Mary's Observer features Aquila Theatre's take on Wuthering Heights.
Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” graced the stage at O’Laughlin Auditorium at Saint Mary’s Monday night with a performance by the Aquila Theatre company. Six actors, united by Aquila’s mission to make classical works accessible to everyone through performance arts, brought the classic novel to life under the direction of Desiree Sanchez.
“It was a marvelous performance,” director of special events Richard Baxter said. “Very well put together, very clear. You know what I loved most of all? No mics.”
One of the production’s lead actors, Kali Hughes (Cathy Earnshaw), said although the show is demanding, it is gratifying to perform.
“It’s a really tough show,” Hughes said. “It’s kind of shocked me. I’ve got to stay fit and healthy. You can’t have a day off, but it’s immensely enjoyable as well.”
Dale Mathurin (Heathcliffe), who is just older than most members of the Saint Mary’s audience, said “Heights” has been on the road for three weeks and the central role can be taxing for such a fresh actor.
“It’s a very hectic show,” Mathurin said. “I’m fresh out of drama school. This is my first time abroad. There are a lot of days in the van getting to different venues.” [...]
“As brilliant as the book is, it really does peak in the middle, it’s really exciting, this bit where we ended. A novel is different. On the stage you need to be gripped. Despite the absolute mess they’ve gotten themselves into. If we were to put the whole thing onstage, when [the characters] fail, we want to see more, do we care? It’s like a book with lots of little ends. It kind of leeches the drama.”
Hughes said part of the challenge in adapting “Wuthering Heights,” is the complexity of Cathy’s character.
“I actually find Cathy to be an energy vacuum,” Hughes said. “She walks into a room and sucks the energy out of everything, like a vortex. But she’s also very human, and she makes a mistake. I think she’s just this fantastically flawed individual. She’s trying to claw back her love for Heathcliff.”
Mathurin said Heathcliff’s mysterious side makes the role appealing.
“What draws me the most is his mystery,” he said. “I find him to be very enigmatic to play with in the scenes that he’s in,” Mathurin said. “The mystery of the character’s what drew me. I don’t think at this point in time I want to be anyone else but Heathcliff.” (Emilie Kefalas)
And even more theatre, as Broadway World reports that the Lifeline Theatre Chicago production of Jane Eyre has been extended:
To accommodate ticket demand, Lifeline Theatre announces fifteen added performances of its critically-acclaimed production of Jane Eyre, adapted from Charlotte Brontë's novel by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member Christina Calvit (four-time Jeff Award winner), and directed by Lifeline Theatre Artistic Director Dorothy Milne (Jeff Award and After Dark Award winner). After a troubled childhood, Jane Eyre searches for new purpose as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But a fragile peace gives way to turbulent passion when she meets Mr. Rochester, a man concealing a dark secret. Their unconventional relationship leads to a terrible revelation, and Jane must forge a new future amid the ashes of her ravaged dreams. As she struggles to free herself from the ghosts of her past, Jane realizes that her only hope is to find love on her own terms. A highly theatrical exploration of one woman's independent spirit in a beloved adaptation freshly updated for its first appearance on the Lifeline stage in thirteen years. Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (www.playscripts.com).
UPDATED CLOSING DATE: Jane Eyre runs through November 16 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. [...]. Performance times are Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 4 p.m. The production runs approximately two hours with one intermission.
A columnist from Lillie News reviews the play Fishwrap and says,
 "Fishwrap" is hardly a hard-hitting drama. It's rife with puns, as well as jokes about booze and sex. Hey, it takes place in a newsroom: What do you think we talk about around here, the Brontë sisters' collected works? (Ben Bromley)
The Guardian has received a letter stating that bad mothers weren't quite so rare in 19th-century novels:
“Family” novels by women writers featuring bad mothers (Tim Lott, Family, 11 October) were a standard trope in 19th-century literature. Jane Austen’s lazy Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park prefers her pug to her children. Charlotte Brontë’s cold Mrs Reed in Jane Eyre spoils her children and believes her bullying son’s lies. Elizabeth Gaskell’s hypocritical Mrs Gibson in Wives and Daughters neglects her daughter. All are described with compassion and wit. Perhaps that makes them not quite bad enough?
Michele Roberts, London
This columnist from My Jewish Learning recalls that,
Growing up as the daughter of two teachers, my parents encouraged me to read every kind of book that I was interested in. As a middle schooler I socialized with Charles Dickens, curled up with Jane Austen, ate snacks with the Bronte sisters, decided that I hated every stuffy Victorian who took 150 pages to start a plot, and moved on to their dark Russian cousins, the Tolstoys and Dostoevskys (125 pages to start a plot). (Malka Z. Simkovich)
Flavorwire reviews Nell Zink's novel The Wallcreeper:
The driver of the novel, its protagonist and voice, is Tiffany, a thoroughly contemporary personality that somehow hearkens back to the Brontë’s and Jane Austin (and Zink confirms that Austen is a reference for The Wallcreeper). (Jonathon Sturgeon)
Columbus Monthly shares several not-so-well-known shopping places in the area such as the following:
At the Library Store inside the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s main branch Downtown, you’ll find much more than books for sale. For the book-obsessed, there are T-shirts, books, toys, accessories (like an irresistible “Jane Eyre” zippered pouch) and even books about books. 
The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page shares an oil sketch by Branwell. Open Letters Monthly talks about the upcoming Annotated Wuthering Heights published by Harvard University Press. edited by Janet Gezari. On Bookriot (and on The Squirrel's Diary) we read the personal experience and timeline of a Wuthering Heights reader.  Finally, Vonnie's Reading Come, Lost Generation Reader and A Night's Dream of Books continue posting about their Jane Eyre readalong.


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