Review: Wuthering Heights, East Riding Theatre

Stage and Screen adaptations of Emily Bronte’s masterpiece usually curtail the action after chapter 16, about half way through the 34 chapters of the original.

Jane Thornton, in writing and directing this version, is much more ambitious, showing us how the original Cathy and Heathcliff story blights the lives of the next generation.

The inexperienced cast perform well.

Lamin Touray, as Heathcliff, is the only one to portray the same character throughout.

His physical bulk alone allows him to dominate the stage.

Lauren Sturgess as Cathy (Earnshaw and Linton) provides the steely antidote to many of the simpering women encountered elsewhere in the story.

Sorcha McCaffrey shows considerable skill in switching effortlessly between the various demands of salt-of-the-earth Nellie Dean, including her advancing years, and the feckless Isabella Linton.

Of the five, she appears most adept in meeting the challenge of multiple roles.

Alex Bailey has the thankless task of portraying the brutish Hindley and the confused Hareton.

Similarly, Duncan Riches is called on to play the men at the other end of the macho continuum such as Edgar Linton.

Lucy Weller’s set and costumes are minimal, throwing considerable responsibility onto the shoulders of the young actors to conjure up for the audience locations, such as Thrushcross Grange and Penistone Crag.

If you are doing Wuthering Heights for GCSE, this is an excellent plot summary, it also works if you are just out for a good night in the theatre.

Wuthering Heights runs at East Riding Theatre, St Roberts Road, Beverley, until Saturday November 18, performances are daily at 7.30pm.

There are also matinees on Saturday November 11 at 2pm and Saturday November 18 at 2.30pm.

Tickets start at £11.50 and are available on 01482 874050 or

email: boxoffice@eastridingtheatre.co.uk

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