CHARLOTTE, Emily and Anne Bronte dream pf literary fame, three disarmingly decent Yorkshire lasses living with their clergyman father on the cusp of the bleak but beautiful moors.
It’s impossible not to warm to them, thanks to the engaging and heart-felt performances given by Parissa Zamanpour, Amy-Lou Harris and Portia Dodds.
When tragedy strikes, you will, unless you have a heart of stone, feel like you’ve undergone a bereavement. For these are performances full of warmth and intensity that give you no option but to care and care deeply about what happens to them. They feel like your very own siblings.
Add a jealous, drunken brother who shares his sisters’ desire to have his writings published and you have the recipe for an evening of theatre that’s totally compelling and at times, deeply moving. Anthony Morris is perfect as this tortured soul, staggering about the stage in a haze of booze fuelled self-pity.
We also are treated to extracts from the string of classics that proved to be the Bronte sisters legacy, my favourite being the scene from Jane Eyre in which Jane confronts the now blind Mr Rochester, expertly played by Andrew Higson, whose equally at home as the Bronte’s clergyman father, Patrick.
Marcella Haze also impresses in the roles of Cathy and Bertha.
The success of this rich and captivating production ultimately rests with its director/designer Barry Purves who serves up something that wouldn’t look out of place on a professional stage. His set is starkly atmospheric and the opening of Polly Teale’s piece breathtaking.
Which begs the question why were there empty seats on Tuesday night? It was a travesty and my only hope is the box office will be doing very brisk business once word gets out as to just how good Bronte is.
Brilliant - another major triumph for Altrincham Garrick.
Until March 16. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - *****