Bronte Sisters

Bronte Sisters

Christa Ackroyd: Don’t be a follower, be a Brontë

This week I have been on a pilgrimage. It’s one I often make in honour of the greatest women to come from my home city of Bradford and indeed the whole of Yorkshire, the Brontë sisters. No? Well name me three others who have had more influence over generations of young women in their home county and beyond.

Finn Atkins as Charlotte;  Charlie Murphy and Chloe Pirrie as Anne and Emily. The cast filmed on the Yorkshire moors in suitably wuthering weather.

Tragic yet immortal: The Brontës’ unhappy valley

Within nine months, from the September of 1848, through to the May of the following year, three prodigious talents died. The first to go was the older brother, aged a mere 31. In the December a younger sister died. She was just 30. And then in the late spring of 1849, another sibling’s short life was over. She was only 29. The first two died at their home on the Yorkshire moors. The last was at Scarborough. Welcome to to the tragic tale of the Brontës which Sally Wainwright has chosen to focus on for her latest drama.

Production shot of Northern Ballet's new adaptation of Jane Eyre.

Behind the scenes of Northern Ballet’s new production of Jane Eyre

When Cathy Marston was asked to choreograph a new dance adaptation of Jane Eyre for Leeds-based Northern Ballet the cast list was obvious. Aside from Charlotte Brontë’s tortured titular heroine, Marston knew that she would need a whole company of female dancers to bring to life the likes of Grace Poole, Bertha Mason, Blanche Ingram and Helen Burns. Add in a couple of male leads to play Rochester and Mr Brocklehurst and it was just about job done.

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