Emily Bronte's timeless tale of love, set against the backdrop of the Yorkshire Moors, was brought to life quite brilliantly tonight at The Edge, Alderbrook School, Solihull by SSA Drama Section in Lucy Gough's 'darkly gripping' adaptation of Wuthering Heights.
This famous love story centres on the characters of Catherine Earnshaw and the gypsy, Heathcliff, who become inseparable companions after he is taken in to the Earnshaw family by Catherine's father. When Catherine breaks the bond between them by agreeing to marry the wealthy Edgar Linton from the neighbouring Thrushcross Grange, Heathcliff's bleak determination to extract revenge impacts disastrously on most of the characters.
The complex character of Catherine Earnshaw was portrayed convincingly and passionately by Aimee Ferguson and both the younger and older Heathcliffs were brought to life magnificently by Matt Barnard and Simon King. The fierce and tender scenes alike between Catherine and Heathcliff were communicated beautifully all the way through and the audience was totally immersed in the love story unfolding before them.
Elliot Sayers gave a realistic and poised performance as Edgar Linton and Kimberley Bradshaw was an excellent Isabella Linton. Chris Cooper was utterly believable as the maligned, desolate brother to Catherine, Hindley Earnshaw, and Alice Davies (Cathy Linton), Liam Thorley (Hareton Earnshaw) and Harvey Grant (Linton Heathcliff) all portrayed the next generation of characters with potency and commitment. Angela Ingram gave a persuasive and emotionally charged performance as Nelly.
Credit must go to the production team who tackled this enduring tale of star-crossed lovers with consummate professionalism and produced something of exceptionally high quality. Special mention must also go to Charlie Smith, her directorial debut is a triumph. This book was published in 1847, but its themes and characters are as relevant and real today as they were when it was written and tonight's performance did Emily Bronte and her ageless classic full justice.
SSA Drama present Wuthering Heights at The Edge, Alderbrook School, Solihull until 30 May. To book tickets and for more information click here.
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