Those of you who have ventured into the pages of this blog before will know I’m rather proud of my Yorkshire roots. And in keeping with the stereo type not only do I wear flat caps pretty much all the time I’m also rather fond of the Bronte sisters and the moors around Haworth. Rumours of a pigeon coup around the Wivenhoe area are, however, fanciful and unfounded.
It is, therefore, with some trepidation I await the opening, in December, of Eastern Angles latest seasonal offering The Bronte s of Dunwich Heath and Cliff which focuses on the famous sisters’ East Anglian cousins
So In order to prepare myself for my beloved literary sisters, or their family at least, being spoofed to the heights of Wuthering and back I thought I better do some research on good old you tube.
Reader, I present my findings!
Let’s start with a commercial break
(This next video was found by Harry Waller, who will be giving us his Rochester in the aforementioned play. I trust Harry implicitly to give us a serious and faithful portrayal just as the sisters would have wanted).
Time for a bit of music? No list like this would be complete without a Kate Bush parody. Geographically speaking Holland is probably closer to East Anglia than Haworth so here’s one from those fair shores….
Or for an English version heres a bit of Frisky and Mannish (suggested by Harry Waller)
Of course there is also the Noel Fielding classic spoof (which you can find here) and I’ll put a plug in for this (serious) but achingly beautiful version of Six Wings of Bliss by The Geoff Smith Band too.
Talking of Wuthering if you’re interested there is a live web cam (sic) of the moors here.
And here is Fry and Laurie (in a sketch which perhaps owes something to Pythons Dead Parrot) riffing on Jane Eyre
Back in 2011 the oracle of truth which is The Spoof was reporting on a ‘modern day language’ version of Wuthering Heights, to be broadcast on Radio 3. Some of the updated quotes include ‘”Who are you?” I asked, stuggling to disengage myself. “I’m come home, I’d lost my way on the soddin’ moor. There’s no feckin’ streetlights there”
Of course Eastern Angles are not the first (nor will they be the last) to rip the merry michael out of The Dark Quartet. Here are the always effervescent Lip Service with their video trailer for the long running, perennially popular Withering Looks
And here are the wonderful National Theatre of Brent illuminating the lives of siblings The Brontë Sisters And How They Done Their Novels
And this comes from The Strange World of the Brontes by Marie Campbell which like our play breathes ‘life’ into some -erm – unusual Bronte relations!
Haworth’s Fleece Inn snug became a free Bronte musum in the summer of 1988. It commemorated a host of hitherto unknown members of the family. These included the dentist Dockroyd Bronte born at Thornton in 1819, who left these shores for Tombstone, Texas, where he met Wyatt Earp. Sadly, Doc was killed in a shoot-out at the OK Corral. the ‘actual’ bullets that killed him were on view in a glass cabinet; alongside his glasses, retrieved from a second-hand stall at Skipton Market. Other ‘treasures’ included several negatives taken by photographic experimentalist, Matbridge Bronte, which had been found in a fireplace, between the remains of two mummified cats. Then there was the history of Bigglesworth (alias Blue-tit) Bronte, who, it was claimed, had been responsible for the tragic death of daredevil Rainbow Lily. In addition, there was information relating to Percy Bronte – a failed diplomat held directly responsible for the start of the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny. last, but not least, came the wayward Aggie Bronte, who shocked Victorian England with her outrageous frolics.
Of course, it was all just a light-hearted jape, put together for amusement by two locals. The spoof exhibition created a real stir within Bronte circles, for it seems some could not see the funny side of it.
One wonders if the Bronte Police will be visiting the SJM in December? Meanwhile the village idiot has been reporting that The Old School Rooms alongside Haworth Parish Church are destined to become a Macdonalds. The full story is here .
And though this is not a spoof, it really, really should be. Cliff Richard as Heathcliff – I can almost feel Emily shuddering in her grave in Haworth Parish Church. Maybe it was this she was thinking of as she wrote The Night is darkering around me.
Why The Black Bull Juke Box? – well the Black Bull stands at the crest of Haworth Main Street, just ahead of the Bronte parsonage. It was here that the brother (Branwell) whiled away many hours in a whir of good beer and opium before going home to set the curtains of his bed on fire . In order to ease the pain I may find myself doing the same (the former rather than the latter – obviously – for the record my bed does not have curtains!) .
The Brontes of Dunwich Heath and Cliff opens on December 4th at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Ipswich where it runs until 11th January. the show then transfers to the Seckford Theatre, Woodbridge (14-25 January) before heading to the Key Theatre, Peterborough (28 jan-1 Feb).