The chairs! The eyebrows! The wigs! The cling film! The weather!! This is Brontë as you’ve never seen it before – and will never forget…
The chairs’ solo, in flickering light, with screeching violins, sets us off on a journey through a surreal and deadpan Brontë Experience – with audience participation – unlike any other. We have fragments of the novels, dream and inspiration sequences, an unforgettable ballroom scene, a mad chicken dance, an elusive door key, explosively bloody coughing and, so as not to disappoint those audience members who might have got the wrong end of the stick, a truly superb Kate Bush performance. For those who were expecting literary insights, we are offered the opportunity further to be included in the performance in a Q & A session, while those who were expecting yet another dramatisation of one of the novels are doomed to disappointment.
The audience were laughing from the start, and kept laughing at the mixture of exquisite physical comedy, sight gags, brilliant comic timing, Intensely Meaningful gesture and dialogue, simple and inventive effects and props, well-chosen music, and the bizarre mixture of dramatic intensity which completely ignores the audience and the running commentary directed at us and inviting us in through the fourth wall. This was a delightful antidote to the diet of gloom and misery I’d experienced earlier in the week, and was met with loud and enthusiastic applause, which received its own reward when we were offered badges at the end of the show.
It’s mad, delightfully silly, and very accomplished: everything may look and sound completely random but is all very carefully worked out, down to the last subtle eyebrow twitch and soulful gaze. Sarah Corbett and Angus Barr have devised a show the like of which may never come again: it’s only on till the weekend, so don’t miss it!