The West Yorkshire Playhouse bicentenary celebrations of Charlotte Brontë’s birth continues with a major new adaptation of Villette.
Villette is brought to life in a striking new adaptation from Yorkshire writer Linda Marshall Griffiths for the venue’s Courtyard Theatre.
It reimagines Charlotte Brontë’s ground-breaking novel while remaining true to its unique insights into loneliness, yearning and the redemptive power of love. It will be directed by WYP associate director Mark Rosenblatt.
Lucy Snowe, alone and abandoned, boards a boat in search of purpose. Arriving at an archaeological site digging for the remains of the elusive Lady of Villette, she works alongside the beautiful Gin, the prying Beck, the charming Dr John and the remote Professor Paul, though Lucy remains an outsider.
Absorbed in her work to find a cure for the next pandemic to secure humanity’s future, can she open herself up to the possibility of love and put the bones of the past behind her?
With echoes of the illness and loss that wracked Brontë’s own life, both novel and play explore the redemptive power of love and the uncertainty of holding on to it.
The production stars Philip Cairns, Catherine Cusack, Nana Amoo-Gottfried, Amelia Donkor and Laura Elsworthy.
West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic director James Brining said: “The Brontës are synonymous with Yorkshire and their impact and influence on our culture and heritage is phenomenal.
“In this 200th year of Charlotte’s birth, the Playhouse’s Brontë Season reimagines the work of these extraordinary women and invites artists and audiences to re-examine how their stories speak to us today.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating locally and nationally to produce new interpretations that explore the radical angles of their life and art and curating digital projects that take our provocation out across Yorkshire and beyond, as well as inviting fantastic guest companies and speakers to share their responses”.
WYP’s executive director, Robin Hawkes, added: “The Playhouse is excited to be working in partnership with the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth on this season of work.
“The Brontë’s writing is both rooted in and strongly influenced by the environment in which they lived and created their enduring characters and stories, which are known and cherished around the world and which we’re looking forward to exploring with our audiences.
“It’s important to us that we continue to reflect this type of local resonance in the work we commission at West Yorkshire Playhouse”.
Villette runs at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from Saturday until October 15.