WARNING, POSSIBLE SPOILERS!
As one of my favourite books, Wuthering Heights has a great plot and characters. I was therefore very excited to see the Northern Ballet adaptation of it at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton.
As adaptations go, a ballet performance of a novel, such as this was an entirely new idea and i was intrigued to see how they would display what I’d loved about Emily Bronté’s novel.
The ballet began on the iconic moors of Yorkshire. The stage filled with fog, the back drop depicted a dark purple hills and cloudy sky and in the back corner of the stage was a gnarled tree. The simple, yet effective staging effectively portrayed the wild moors so beautifully described in Bronté’s writing.
The young Cathy and Heathcliff are shown as memories of an older Heathcliff, who has returned to the moors, after Cathy’s death. The young children’s relationship and growing compassion towards one another is shown in scenes of joyful dancing, skipping and playing across the stage.
Heathcliff’s rugged, wild character was cleverly shown through the ballet dancer’s rough, sharp and angry feeling movements. Which were also juxtaposed with Edgar Linton’s smooth and graceful dancing.
The scenes which were taken from the novel tell the story brilliantly and although it was shortened as necessary many of the key scenes are still included meaning the stories main plot points are not lost. Key plot points depicted in the ballet include; Cathy and Hindley Earnshaw’s father returning with Heathcliff, young Heathcliff and Cathy becoming closer and of course Edgar Linton falling in love with Catherine Earnshaw.
I am glad I saw this performance of Wuthering Heights Ballet and I was pleased to see how well the story was portayed on stage using just music and dance.