Monday, November 14, 2011

"A Saturday Matinee In The Potteries..."

Last Saturday afternoon, I saw a Northern Broadsides production at The New Vic Theatre , The of Arnold Bennett.... and all those towns, whose names I learned for geography O level... and strangely, have never forgotten........
AND what a surprise this wonderful theatre was...and WHY I've never been before I really can't think...

For a start this theatre was BUZZING....arty young folk, pleasant middleaged, and some very elderly, often rather elegant folk....NONE of whom fell asleep ( well, not for long!) while watching the performance...which quite frankly is usually the case...especially when theatre goers have scoffed a delicious lunch before staggering to their ( comfy) seats.
AND Yes, The New Vic has an excellent restaurant and cafe...jampacked last Saturday lunchtime .....but once my friends appeared with their plate of gorgeous cakes, I could certainly see its tasty appeal!

The New Vic opened in 1962. It was Europe's 1st purpose-built "theatre-in-the-round". Peter Cheeseman was its 1st director, who stayed for 38 years which, to me, underlines the fact that this must be a happy place in which to work. All kinds of drama takes place, concerts, exhibitions whatever. See the website for all the details :

Saturday's play was Blake Morrison's " We Are Three Sisters" . It weaves the story of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, echoing Chekov's " Three Sisters" with its essentially moving themes: women's work, their education, attitudes to marriage, and so much more....

It was directed by Barrie Rutter and designed by Jessica Worrall and I enjoyed it hugely: the emotional intensity of the lives of the Brontes was powerfully was the claustrophobia of the Parsonage....the sisters talents, their hopes and their frustrations.
BUT there was also humour, deliberate and warm and usually gentle.......and each sister was a fascinating individual, skilfully created by both Morrison and the three young actresses. They were: Catherine Kinsella, Rebecca Hutchinson and Sophia Di Martino.
ALSO must mention brother Branwell ( boozy, swearing, lustful) ...brilliantly played by Gareth Cassidy, who I last saw strutting his stuff in " Hard Times" for the M/Ch Library Theatre in the Spring...although I don't think his hair was quite so red on that occassion......


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read a very interesting article about the Brontes in Saturday's paper.A recently discovered small book by 14 yr old Charlotte Bronte is to be auctioned at Sotherby's in Dec. She wrote many minature books about how they lived in their own world at Haworth and how they were cut off from outsiders.
Cousin Sue

7:23 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Thanks Sue.
Yes, they really did live in a very small world and yet amazing to think of the talent they shatred.
Don't think I can afford a bid at Sotheby's in Dec though!!
Good to hear from you.

12:54 pm  

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