Monday, February 03, 2020

Monday, February 03, 2020 10:32 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Brisbane Times (Australia) gives three stars to the play The Lost Voice of Anne Brontë.
Cate Whittaker may have put the sweet-natured, proto-feminist Anne – the least famous of the Brontës – in her title, but her play is really about the sibling dynamics between the three sisters and their brother, Branwell. In fact it's Emily who draws us into the story, aided by Rose Treloar's superior acting performance.
Emily and Branwell are kindred spirits: dreamers and gifted, wide-ranging artists. Treloar makes Emily the more charismatic, and Whittaker makes her credibly the author of Wuthering Heights: her own life is a gothic romance, and she lives with an intensity and vivacity that shades her sisters.
Anne (Bedelia Lowrencev) begins as a teenaged innocent who develops into the boldest writer of the three, leading readers into the then-heresy of a woman daring to walk out of the "slavery" of a hideously dysfunctional marriage in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. After struggling early, Lowrencev became more convincing as Anne developed a voice as an artist and feminist
Charlotte (Heather Tleige), the most celebrated during the trio's lives, is proud, frustrated and jealous of any love and admiration bestowed elsewhere. When she achieves the success she craves, she tries to obliterate or white-wash her sisters' legacy, even attempting to suppress the second edition of Anne's novel. Hers is a rocky road to redemption, and Tleige catches the superciliousness, but not the deeper complexity.
Branwell (Jeremy Lowrencev) drinks himself to an early grave, having lost in love and art. The siblings' dour clergyman father (Marlon Lowrencev) softens for Branwell's death, but ultimately the play's men are less interesting, and the acting more transparent. Cathy Friend nailed some of the earthy perspicacity of Tabitha, the girls' heart-of-gold nurse and a chorus-like observer, although there was more juice in the role.
Whittaker's ploy of Anne and Emily reciting snatches of their verse in moments of rapture or playfulness works well, but she should expunge Anne and Charlotte's speaking subtext: Charlotte telling us of her fear of spinsterhood; Anne of her pride in having warned young women of the pitfalls of marriage.
Elizabeth Lowrencev's period-costume production contains some under-cooked acting and lumpy scene transitions, but it's enough to show that Whittaker has the makings of a solidly engaging play, which is off to Yorkshire for the celebrations of Anne's bicentenary. (John Shand)
BBC News features the story of Charlotte Brontë's 'little book' returning home.
The miniature work, called the Young Men's Magazine, has gone on show at the Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire.
It was bought for £512,970 at auction after a fundraising campaign by the Brontë Society, which runs the museum.
The work is one of six "little books" written by Brontë.
The little book, dated 19 August 1830 which is about the size of a matchbox, is packed with spoof stories and advertisements in tiny handwriting.
The museum's principal curator Ann Dinsdale said: "Welcoming the little book home to Haworth and seeing it in place alongside the others in the series is the highlight of my career.
"It was always meant to be here in Haworth... back where it belongs, continuing to inspire generation upon generation and enriching lives far beyond the walls where it was originally created almost 200 years ago."
The work is one of a series of six written by Charlotte, the eldest of the three sisters.
One of the books has been missing since the 1930s and the Brontë Parsonage Museum already held the other four.
According to the museum, part of the Young Men's Magazine, which measures just 35mm by 61mm, also offers an insight into the mind of the young writer at the time.
It includes a scene describing a murderer driven to madness, "a clear precursor" of a famous scene between Bertha and Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre, which Charlotte would publish 17 years later.
The Sisters' Room features the recently-published Italian translation of Anne Brontë's first solo biography by Will T. Hale (published in English in 1929). AnneBrontë.org reviews Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg. La Crónica (Spain) recommends a trip to Haworth to celebrate Anne Brontë's bicentenary among other things to do this year in the UK.


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