Thursday, October 28, 2021

Thursday, October 28, 2021 7:50 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Financial Times reviews Wise's Children
Wuthering Heights
giving it 3 stars out of 5.
Director and seasoned interpreter of classic romances Emma Rice is determined to tell the whole story, and to package Emily Brontë’s thorny tangle of loving cousins, domestic abuse and even necrophilia into a form that’s palatable to modern audiences.
To some extent she succeeds. Casting Lucy McCormick as Cathy is a masterstroke. McCormick is loved by Edinburgh Fringe audiences for her messy, canon-smashing solo shows that end in a puddle of smeared foodstuffs and bodily fluids. Here, she only slightly reins in her focus-pulling antics, creating a Cathy whose head darts about like a snake, her wild eyes demanding constant love and amusement.
Rice’s approach makes it clear that Heathcliff’s cruelty starts with Cathy: she goads him into a violence that’s her legacy on earth after she disappears to waft over the moors. But Rice’s production also fills in a little of the social context, making it clear that Heathcliff is an adopted child who is bullied for the colour of his skin, never allowed to develop emotionally in a cold and loveless household.
Sometimes, the violence of this production feels relentless. Heathcliff (Ash Hunter) is constantly beaten down, in a more visceral echo of the emotional violence visited on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. There’s no veneer of 19th-century politeness to protect us from the rough, wild emotions here. Everyone is unlikeable or insipid or so obviously about to die that there’s no point getting attached.
Emma Rice’s most famous productions are all love stories, so it’s surprising that the real love story here, that between Cathy and Heathcliff, feels oddly secondary. They disappear into the shadows as the cast celebrate the confetti-strewn wedding of their descendants, their menace almost forgotten. Perhaps Rice is most comfortable with love when it’s sweet and true, not twisted and destructive. (Alice Saville)
Morning Star reviews it too, giving it 5 stars.
The three-hour epic is a fresh and invigorating retelling of the tale of neighbouring Yorkshire households’ bitter, multi-generational relationships, employing many of Rice’s signature techniques: live music, Greek-style chorus, physical theatre and a versatile approach to set and props.
At the heart of this production are two intense performances from Lucy McCormick as Catherine and Ash Hunter as Heathcliff. The ill-fated couple, driven to pursue their love even beyond death, are played without sentimentality. Their cruel passions and detestations, unrestricted by any social conventions, border on the psychologically unstable.
But Rice does not allow the intensity of this all-consuming relationship to overwhelm the production and the rest of the cast embellish these pivotal roles with lighter, often comic depictions from Sam Archer’s ebullient, scout-like Lockwood braving the moors to introduce the characters, to Katy Owen’s laughably wimpish and self-centred Little Linton. [...]
Replacing Nelly Dean as the narrator by a choral representation of the wild Yorkshire moors and Simon Baker’s vast, permanently changing skyscape projections are brilliant devices to symbolise the unrestrained, instinctive forces that all but destroy both families.
Emma Rice’s adaptation of such a well-thumbed text and her ability to use it to reflect current social issues in such an engaging style is magical. So many elements in this show work in perfect harmony from John Leader’s puppets reinforcing the children’s vulnerability and Ian Ross’s hauntingly evocative songs to Etta Murfitt’s diversely expressive choreography.
Wise Children are once again proving themselves an outstanding force in British theatre and this show is not just for fans of Emily Bronte but anyone who wants to experience the power and potential of live theatre. (Simon Parsons)
Also in the Financial Times today a review of Rose Tremain's new novel Lily. Beware of spoilers though.
The girls are taken back to Coram where, in a painful irony, Bridget, who plays a similar role in the novel to Helen Burns in Jane Eyre, hangs herself with a scarf that Lily has knitted her. (Michael Arditti)
Seven Days reviews Among the Lilies by Daniel Mills.
"Lilies," a lengthier story from which the book takes its name, is an homage to the Gothic fiction Mills adores. Perfectly named central characters Henry Feathering and Clemency St. James discuss Emily Brontë and Edgar Allan Poe while falling into a romance as ill-fated as those in Wuthering Heights or "Annabel Lee." (Jordan Adams)
The Stanford Daily discusses Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu.
It has become an annual tradition of mine to read a work of fiction or nonfiction on supernatural themes during the Halloween season. My past picks have been “The Monk” by Matthew Gregory Lewis, “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë, “The Witch” by Ronald Hutton, “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James and “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. After learning that the short story “Carmilla” by gothic master J. Sheridan LeFanu inspired Stoker’s “Dracula,” I immediately purchased the Oxford Classics edition and elected to read this almost-forgotten vampire tale of moral and psychological significance as the nights got longer and the weather turned cooler.[...]
Like Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” the horror plot of “Carmilla” also relies heavily on ambiguity; LeFanu neither confirms nor denies the presence of demonic beings in Laura’s town and leaves us to wonder whether Laura’s eerie experiences are merely hallucinations. (Fyza Parviz Jazra)
Mental Floss has selected 'The 25 Greatest Zombie Movies of All Time', the first of which is
1. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
You wouldn’t guess it from the title, but director Jacques Tourneur’s hauntingly beautiful follow-up to his 1942 surprise hit Cat People borrows heavily from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. The script, co-written by The Wolf Man screenwriter Curt Siodmak, transports the story to a Caribbean island where voodoo and colonialism are inextricably woven into the cultural fabric. It’s not Hollywood’s first zombie movie, but it was the first to take its subject matter seriously. Of all the films produced by legendary horror maestro Val Lewton, I Walked With a Zombie was reportedly his personal favorite. (April Snellings)
The Wrap recommends 'The 7 Best Period Dramas on Hulu Right Now' and one of them is
"Jane Eyre” (2006)
Ruth Wilson is Jane in what some have called the definitive adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s gothic novel about a neglected governess who falls for her master (Toby Stephens). The miniseries is fittingly as dark and brooding as Rochester himself. (Harper Lambert)
A columnist from The Goldendale Sentinel pays homage to a friend who recently passed away.
“You’ve got to listen to this,” Darrell said to me one day, handing me a CD of the original Broadway musical cast recording of Jane Eyre. We’d been talking about the kinds of shows we could have at our performing arts center. “It’s amazing music and an amazing show.” He was right. I play the recording often, marveling at its craftsmanship and ingenuity. I put it on in the car this morning driving to the office. I pictured Darrell in the passenger seat, smiling that cheery grin of his, listening along. Two buds connecting with great music and a greater sense of purpose. (Lou Marzeles)
The Telegraph and Argus shares the trailer from The Railway Children Return which was filmed in Haworth and other nearby places earlier this year.

The Times echoes HRH Prince of Wales's words about the importance of keeping the Honresfeld Collection public and on British soil. Please remember you can help by donating here.

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