Even more than Elerian, Emma Rice is a renowned director and adaptor who doesn’t value familiar texts. Once the artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Rice made a name for herself running the touring company Kneehigh, which deconstructed once-glamor titles like “Brief meeting“And” Tristan & Yseult. “Since then, Rice has started a theatrical entity called The Wise Children, who had a careless role in the novel Emily Brontë”howling wind hill“Can be found on the Lyttelton stage of the National Theater through March 19.
The eclectic impulses behind this production are evident from its cast, which brings together dancers, performers, and a “Hamilton” man to tell the corpse-filled tale of the minter, Heathcliff (Ash Hunter, veteran of the aforementioned musical), and Catherine is cast in the lead (Lucy McCormick, a maverick talent who moves between self-made work and plays like this). Juggling some roles is the charismatic Sam Archer, an actor and dancer whose swift movements are so obvious that Rice’s take on this 1847 novel seemed out of place: It’s always good to have an artist. Performers have the ability to fly at any time.
Rice’s libertarian approach to the material would not appeal to purists. It’s amazing to see the Yorkshire moors – a key setting for the novel – brought to life in three dimensions by an assemblage led by the captive Nandi Bhebhe, who appears to be wearing a crown of sticks and branches tree and had an entourage of a similarly dressed human. plant. Elsewhere, plot intricacies are faced head-to-head. “How is someone expected to follow this?” asked the resident narrator, Lockwood (one of Archer’s roles), only for Bhebhe to speak with a realization that “nobody said this was going to be easy.”
Rice’s goal was to ease the path through a labyrinthine novel by bringing her overall theatrical aesthetic to a heavy musical piece that announced the fates of characters on a blackboard, a choice that touches directly on the association many people will have with this novel from their school days. One or two cuts won’t matter, and there are times when re-inventing seems reckless, uncreative.
But I won’t soon forget a McCormick with ferocious eyes haunting acting from beyond the grave as a harbinger of doom to come, and Katy Owen’s cool Isabella Linton, all but stealing chapters show: an audience-friendly cheerful character amid a backdrop of death that, as with “The Chair,” we realized we had a lot in common.
Chair. Directed by Omar Elerian. Almeida Theatre, through March 5.
howling wind hill. Directed by Emma Rice. National Theatre, through March 19.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/theater/the-chairs-wuthering-heights.html On London stages, Maverick responds to mortality