Saturday 24 October 2009

De Brontë Sisters, played by Toneelgroep DORST

This report was written by one of our members, Marcia, who went to see the play about the Brontë sisters (see earlier Blog entry).

"Yesterday evening (22 October 2009) I saw the play ‘De Brontë Sisters’ by the Dutch company Toneelgroep Dorst. I was very curious about the play, because the actors are years older than any member of the Brontë family ever was except their father Patrick.
Would they be playing a “What if ….”, in this case “What if the Brontë Sisters had reached their sixties?”
No not at all. They simply played the lives of Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell Brontë.
And they did that very well. I had to get accostumed to an actress of sixty kneeling on a chair hanging over the table like a child. But as the play continues and the Brontës age, one can completely forget the grey hair and older hands, so fascinating is it to see these four people play the Brontës with everything there is to it. In Haworth, at Cowan Bridge School, Branwell in London, Charlotte and Emily at the Pensionnat Héger in Brussels, Anne at the Robinsons, Charlotte and Anne in London with Mr. Smith, the publisher, and back in Haworth the hell the sisters live in during the years of Branwell’s addiction.
And we Brontë-fanatics have a disadvantage, because we see and hear everything, that is not quite right or of which we have a different view these days. Personally I think it is a pity, that their father Patrick is portrayed as an eccentric and not very child-loving father, almost like Mrs. Gaskell did one-and-a-half century ago. But somebody who has just come to see this play because Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights made good television not so long ago, has no problems at all with this and can look freely to an fascinating story told by good actors, performing beautifully dressed in sober surroundings.
So, if you understand Dutch, do not let my remarks keep you from seeing this play and enjoying the attention it brings to the Brontës!''

Marcia Zaaijer

If want to know more about the play and the actors: see www.toneelgroepdorst.nl (in Dutch).

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