Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Guardian reports that Kate Bush, Carol Ann Duffy, Jeanette Winterson and Jackie Kay will be taking part in the Brontë Stones project to be unveiled during the Bradford literature festival in July.
Kate Bush is to make her second tribute to Emily Brontë, providing words for a permanent art installation on the wiley, windy moors that inspired Wuthering Heights.
Bush will join the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, the Scottish makar, or national poet, Jackie Kay and the novelist Jeanette Winterson in a summer project celebrating the Brontë sisters. All four have been commissioned to write a piece of poetry or prose which will then be engraved on stones positioned over the eight-mile route between the sisters’ birthplace and the family parsonage.
Winterson will celebrate the Brontë legacy as a whole, Duffy will celebrate Charlotte, Kay has Anne and Bush has Emily.
The Brontë stones project takes place in the bicentenary year of Emily’s birth and, appropriately, the 40th anniversary year of Bush’s Wuthering Heights, the mindblowing song she released when she was just 18 years old.
Bush said she was delighted to be involved in the project. “Each sister being remembered by a stone in the enigmatic landscape where they lived and worked is a striking idea.
“Emily only wrote the one novel – an extraordinary work of art that has truly left its mark. To be asked to write a piece for Emily’s stone is an honour and, in a way, a chance to say thank you to her.”
The writers have been commissioned by Bradford literature festival, which will unveil the stones in July.
Getting Bush involved is a real coup. [...]
The festival’s director, Syima Aslam, said Bush had been approached with a degree of trepidation. “We saw it as such a good fit, but equally we were, ‘she might just say no’. But you won’t know unless you ask … and she said yes, which was tremendously exciting.”
The stones project is the only way Bush will be marking the 40th anniversary of her song.
Aslam said the Charlotte stone will be at the house where the Brontës, including their wayward brother Branwell, were born in the village of Thornton. Anne’s stone will be in a meadow beside the parsonage in Haworth, now the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where the family grew up. The Emily and Brontë legacy stones will be in the landscape.
Putting the Emily stone on the wild and exposed moors was not a difficult decision to take. “There was no other way of doing it,” said Aslam. “I remember a long time ago being laughed at by a friend as we were driving through the moors and I said, ‘It’s all so bleak, it reminds me of Wuthering Heights’. She just looked at me and laughed.”
Aslam said it had been important to get a northern writer to celebrate the Brontë legacy and was thrilled that Winterson said yes.
Winterson recalled growing up in Lancashire and roaming the hills in the rain and feeling both passionate and misunderstood. “I read the Brontës and felt their spirit stand by me,” she said. “The Brontës showed me that hearts beat like mine, that the struggle to know who you are happens across time and generations, and gender.
“They showed me that writing needs the power of the personal behind it – but that somehow the story one person tells has to become a story many people can claim as their own. And the Brontës are women. As a woman I needed those ancestors, those guides. I still do.”
Aslam said the calibre of the writers was important. “It has just been perfect. I could not have asked for anything more. These are writers who will be remembered. As much as the stones will be a way in to the work of the Brontës, they will also be a way into these writers as well.”
Michael Stewart, who lives in Thornton, came up with the idea in 2013. He said he had long wanted “my village to receive recognition for its place in the Brontë story … It’s fantastic to see the project come to fruition”.
Stewart will lead a guided walk between Thornton and Haworth, titled In the Footsteps of the Brontës, on 8 July. The day before, Duffy, Kay and Winterson will be in Bradford to inaugurate the stones and read their words. (Mark Brown)
BBC News and Clipper 28 tell the story too.

The Reviews Hub has a review of Northern Ballet’s Jane Eyre at New Theatre, Cardiff.
 Wonderfully, this adaptation allows Jane the space to develop at Lowood without forcing her through those formative years, even casting a ‘Young Jane’, a youthful, yearning but determined Ayami Miyata, to fully flesh out every nuance of movement and temperament, and the pas de deux with Miki Akuta, her ill-fated friend there, is a triumph of innocent tenderness.
Throughout, she’s followed, lifted, and thrown by a corps of characterless men that morph into all the male characters that, as choreographer Cathy Marsten summarises, ‘die on her, let her down, and lie to her’, and Jane defies them, and, as they collectively evoke, death, at every turn, even physically fighting them off to find her way over the moorland to save her love. And as her love, Mlindi Kulashe is the rich, macho, chauvinist Rochester of the novel, his rond de jambes evoking the visceral masculinity that so intimidates Jane, but as their intimacy develops, it’s a control he convincingly renounces in favour of fairness: in their partnering, they are counterparts, not a princess and her consort as in many classical pas de deux.
Elsewhere, Antoinette Brooks-Daw is a delightfully girlish Adele, her allegro light and acting charming, Dominique Larose is a dotty, but devoted Mrs Fairfax, her feet dancing out her underlying flightiness, and Mariana Rodrigues’ Bertha Mason is a red as well as a wild woman, her ragged red dress raging against the otherwise greyed design. Patrick Kinmouth’s muted, minimalist set smoulders in the climactic scene, and, with smoke and Alastair West’s incandescent and atmospheric lighting, it’s an impressively dramatic crescendo.
Jane Eyre is dance drama with joie de vivre and determination, and though Jane may find she is ‘poor, obscure, plain, and little’, Northern Ballet have found the purity, beauty, power and love in Brontë’s novel. (Leah Tozer)
Kelly Allen Writer reviews the production as seen at the same venue.

Cinevue reviews the film Beast describing it as
at once a modern fairy tale, Brontë-esque gothic melodrama and police procedural, (Christopher Machell)
Ellen and Jim have a post on three Brontë novels and adaptations.

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