The Rose Theatre, Kingston
We Are Three Sisters, a new work by Blake Morrison, continues the good work of Northern Broadsides. The play tells the story of the Brontës – with a touch of poetic licence through the visits of eligible gentlemen to the gloomy parsonage.
I am not generally enamoured with this device (used in the film Becoming Jane about Miss Austen) but here it serves to throw into sharp relief the utter isolation in which the young women lived. The sisters were beautifully played by Rebecca Hutchinson (Anne), Catherine Kinsella (Charlotte) and Sophia Di Martino (Emily). The script gives them great character – they are sparky, bright, sardonic and they are more than a match for the menfolk in the piece – the doctor, played by the aptly-named John Branwell and Marc Parry’s flighty curate.
Shining lights on the gloom were Barrie Rutter as the school teacher, Eileen O’Brien as the housekeeper, and the vision in green that was Becky Hindley’s Mrs Robinson. The trio added much-needed light relief to the darkness of the story, with Branwell’s tragic tale pervading the piece.
This is a ‘proper play’ and was sensitively directed by Northern Broadsides’ artistic director Rutter.
The programme was a copy of the play so if you’ve any money left in your budget, do get a tome. It’s an excellent addition to your ‘further reading’ list.