We Are Brontë

We Are Brontë: The Sherling Studio, Lighthouse, Poole. (Saturday 22nd April, 2017).

Physical theatre at its finest. Two performers, a handful of unlikely but superbly contrived props and the entire Brontë myth to deconstruct.

 And what a myth it is. Angus Barr and Sarah Corbett examine the weird and troubled world of the Brontë sisters - Charlotte, Emily and Anne - in this surreal work that combines comedy, carefully choreographed movement and wonderful little jaunts into our perceived wisdom about the literary siblings.

As we all know the Brontë girls lived on the bleak windswept Yorkshire moors. They wrote  dark, brooding stories about repression, revenge and madness and died horribly young from consumption. Never mind, they left us Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall among their many achievements.

Not that everyone fully understands their legacy. Writer-performers Barr and Corbett  pointed out for instance that a significant number of people these days think that Wuthering Heights was written by Kate Bush, which of course it sort of was.

This strange and wonderful touring production from Publick Transport isn’t really a play. It’s more an investigation into the nuts and bolts of the Brontë world, both real and imagined. The sisters and their laudanum-addicted brother Branwell may have been doomed to a greater or lesser degree but We Are Brontë finds much humour to explore. Directed by Ed Rapley it is a masterclass in physical theatre, clowning and improvisation. Beautifully constructed and played with great timing and technique. Perfect for Lighthouse’s excellent new Sherling Studio.

Jeremy Miles

© Jeremy Miles 2022