WHETHER you're a hard-core Brontë fan or if you've never had the pleasure, these fresh new adaptations of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by West Country theatre companies Butterfly Psyche Theatre & Livewire Theatre are sure to invigorate, inspire and melt hearts around the South West this autumn.
Performed in rep, with only one and two actors, there's a chance to mix-and-match an old favourite along with a new acquaintance, as well as the chance to see all three in omnibus performances at most venues.
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, the Gothic story of a penniless young governess, met with immediate success when first published. The eponymous Jane takes up service in creepy Haddon Hall and soon finds herself at the centre of a haunted cover-up-conspiracy with the dashing-yet-devilish, Mr Rochester. Will they live happily ever after? Will their worlds come crashing down around them? It’s a Brontë, so be prepared for both...
Emily Brontë’s emotionally gripping Wuthering Heights is, without a doubt, one of the most tragic and infamous love stories ever told. As the most introverted and reclusive of the sisters, Emily’s personality remains a mystery. But as they say, ‘still waters run deep’ and even if you've never read a word of the Brontës in your life, you will have at least heard of Heathcliff and Cathy and their passionate-yet-destructive love that transcended even death. This production will leave you covered in Goosebumps and reaching for the nearest copy.
Anne Brontë, the least well-known (and vastly under-appreciated) of the sisters wrote the most shocking of all the Bronte novels put together, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Telling the story of Helen Graham, a reclusive artist who has mysteriously taken up residence at the dilapidated Wildfell Hall, Anne’s multi-layered masterpiece aims to show both the brutality and consequences of life choices along with hope and happiness through redemption, forgiveness and truth. When The Tenant was first published it sold out within six weeks and is widely considered to be the first ‘sustained’ feminist novels.
Venues for performances, which take place throughout September and October, include Rondo Theatre, Bath (www.bathboxoffice.org.uk); Victoria Hall, Radstock (www.bathboxoffice.org.uk); Arnos Vale Cemetry , Bristol (www.tobaccofactorytheatres.com/book); and Redmaids School, Bristol (www.tobaccofactorytheatres.com/book)