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1st May 2022

The Lowry reaches new heights

Adapted by controversial theatre director Emma Rice, Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights plays at the Lowry Theatre
The Lowry reaches new heights
Photo: Wise Children.

It’s one of the greatest (is it?) love stories (is it?) of all time… Let’s reword that…

An epic story of love, revenge, and redemption, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights follows Heathcliff, who is rescued from the Liverpool docks as a child, adopted by the Earnshaws, and taken to live at Wuthering Heights. He finds a kindred spirit in Catherine Earnshaw, and a fierce love ignites. When forced apart, a brutal chain of events is unleashed.

The story has been told time and time again – even through song (heck, Kate Bush’s debut single is arguably better than the novel itself) – but Wise Children promise something different. Shot through with music, dance, passion and hope, Emma Rice transforms Emily Brontë’s masterpiece into a powerful and uniquely theatrical experience.

Wise Children is an inventive and innovative theatre company lead by the aforementioned Emma Rice. Rice is, weirdly, a controversial figure in the theatre industry – largely due to her audacious innovation (and daring lighting).

The company’s past productions are Bagdad Cafe, Romantics Anonymous, Malory Towers, and Wise Children (the basis for the company’s name). I caught their adaptation of Angela Carter’s Wise Children at HOME back in 2019 – and though I did not review it, I wish I had done, for it offered so, so, so, so, soo much to discuss (and deconstruct).

I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Wuthering Heights, but I do find the story to be particularly interesting (to say the least). I’m also fascinated with the Brontë sisters, who lived not too far from me, and I absolutely adore Kate Bush and her musical retelling of the story. I was not too fond of the Royal Exchange Theatre’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights a few years back (nor was the writer who reviewed it, but another writer loved it). However, I adored Wise Children’s Wise Children (confusing, I know), so I’ve got relatively high expectations for the company’s latest offering.

Lucy McCormick and Liam Tamne lead the company of performers and musicians in this intoxicating revenge tragedy for our time. I’m particularly excited about seeing Tamne onstage again, after seeing him as Ramses (one of the co-leads) in The Prince of Egypt last year. He is also known for his appearances on Eurovision: You Decide and The Voice.

Wuthering Heights plays at the Lowry (Lyric Theatre) from 3rd until 7th May, before continuing its UK tour until the end of May – though Wise Children’s website says that more dates are to be announced soon, so stay tuned!

Jay Darcy

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Email: [email protected].

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