Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday, October 21, 2021 7:37 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
The Telegraph reviews Wise Children's Wuthering Heights.
Picture: Steve Tanner
Recent productions with [Emma Rice's] newish theatre company, Wise Children, have prioritised dreamily romantic effect over actual drama, but there’s precious little whimsy about her racially charged Wuthering Heights. Instead, she unleashes the novel’s awful cruelty and fury in a full-throttle show while reta
ining Brontë’s cool-eyed clarity on a cast of monsters whose inherited cycles of toxic dysfunction leave Succession's Roy family looking like The Waltons.
Rice starts her show with a gag about the weather: as Sam Archer’s cut-glass accented Lockwood attempts to step outside Heathcliff’s windswept moorland home, he’s met by actors screaming Hammer-horror style in his face. Yet those hostile, ungovernable moors are also a character in their own right, replacing narrator Nelly Dean in the form of a Greek tragedy-style chorus. 
Against a backdrop of scudding clouds, the only props are a wooden door and that famous window. Poor Cathy might not ever be able to get back in, but this is much more a story about people unable to break free.
It also feels very modern. Rice foregrounds Heathcliff’s implied racial heritage in the novel by casting BAME actor Ash Hunter in the role, while Lucy McCormick’s pleasingly yobbish, untameable Cathy has been brutalised by the suffocating restraints of growing up a woman in 19th-century Yorkshire. Like a more unhinged Hedda Gabler, she’s hemmed in wherever she goes, yet, like Ibsen’s anti-heroine, it’s also clearly her own character that ruins her. Meanwhile Hunter manages to make the diabolical Heathcliff sympathetic without remotely glamourising him.
Rice’s directorial style tends less towards psychological naturalism than to a heightened, self-conscious theatricality. It’s a tricky mode to deploy in a story such as this but she treads a rewarding line between driving home the mind-wringing anguish and pointing up the melodrama. [...]
There are no new theatre tricks that Rice fans won’t have seen before, but it all works beautifully – the seamless integration of live music and song; the way Rice simply can’t resist turning the tiny note of optimism that ends the novel into a full-on celebration featuring flowers, tea and cake. Frankly, by the end of this, you’’ll be grateful for it. (Claire Allfree)
Black Girls Create reviews Lauren Blackwood's Within These Wicked Walls.
Don’t you just hate when the premise you’ve heard for a story doesn’t quite live up to the story that’s told? Well, I’m happy to report that this is solidly NOT the case for Lauren Blackwood’s debut novel, Within These Wicked Walls—a horror novel targeted towards the older end of the young adult audience. Billed as an Ethiopian-inspired fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre, this book lives up to the high bar set by its description. (Porshèa Patterson-Hurst)
Book Riot gives some tips on reading before having a baby.
Read that long biography or other difficult book you've been saving
I read The Brontës over a couple of weeks because I knew that I would not have the time or the energy for that much Brontë, or that much tuberculosis, once the baby came. I kept a rigorous reading schedule and treated it like a class I took every day. I had time for a lot more than I thought I did after the baby came, but this would not have been one of those things — and not because it wasn’t worth it, but because my brain was working differently in the early weeks. (Alex Luppens-Dale)
The Morning Call reviews the new film adaptation of Dune and mentions that Timothée Chalamet at times looks like a 'preoccupied Brontë hero'. Euronews lists several writers who had used pseudonyms, including the Brontës.

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