BOLD & VISCERAL – A GRIPPING NEW ADAPTATION OF EMILY BRONTË’S FIERCE NOVEL
A Royal Exchange Theatre Production
By Emily Brontë
In a new adaptation by Andrew Sheridan
Directed by Bryony Shanahan
7 February – 7 March 2020
Emily Brontë’s extraordinary novel WUTHERING HEIGHTS unleashed a love that was raw and uncontained, wild, brutal and all-consuming. In this new adaptation by Bruntwood Prize winning writer Andrew Sheridan Cathy and Heathcliff are seen afresh, as unpredictable as the moors and bound by an energy that is palpable. The Royal Exchange Theatre’s new Artistic Director Bryony Shanahan creates her contemporary production with an ensemble of actors and musicians. Together they explore the twists and turns in Brontë’s exhilarating, poetic narrative and astonishing imagination. A ferocious exploration of passion and desire, underscored by live, original music, Cathy and Heathcliff’s love finds a visceral and vicious, tender and true connection in this new production. WUTHERING HEIGHTS runs in the theatre from 7 February – 7 March 2020.
Playing Heathcliff is Alex Austin who returns to the Royal Exchange following his role in Anna Jordan’s Bruntwood winning play YEN. Other theatre credits have included IVAN AND THE DOGS (Young Vic), DEAR ELIZABETH (Gate Theatre) and THE END OF EDDY (Unicorn Theatre). Rakhee Sharma makes her Royal Exchange Theatre debut in the role of Cathy. Her theatre credits have included CRYSTAL CLEAR (Old Red Lion), IF NOT NOW, WHEN? and MACBETH (National Theatre). The cast also includes Rhiannon Clements, David Crellin, Dean Fagan, Samantha Power and Gurjeet Singh. They are joined on stage by musicians Sophie Galpin and Rebecca Wilkie.
Andrew Sheridan trained as an actor at Rose Bruford and has performed extensively in award-winning theatre, TV and film. Andrew’s debut play WINTERLONG won the 2008 Bruntwood Playwriting Competition. The play opened at the Royal Exchange, directed by Sarah Frankcom before transferring to Soho Theatre, London. WINTERLONG has been translated and performed across Europe to critical acclaim. Andrew’s play HOPE, LIGHT & NOWHERE was produced at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival and in 2014 he was the recipient of the Tom Erhardt Award for emerging writers. Andrew’s work gains notoriety and prestige in Scandinavia and he has been under commission by Stockholm’s Stadsteater and has written PAULDING LIGHT which was shortlisted for the 2018 Nick Darke Award. He has also nurtured a close collaborative relationship with Monkeywood Theatre company. His play THE GOOD, THE BAD, And THE GIGGSY was one of 4 plays celebrating Manchester’s rich and historic footballing rivalry between the mighty Manchester United and their imitators Manchester City which was performed at The Lowry Theatre. His play BLUE was performed at Hope Mill Theatre in 2019.
Bryony Shanahan is Joint Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre. In 2016 she won the Genesis Future Directors award and directed TRADE at the Young Vic. Directing includes ENOUGH (Traverse Theatre), QUEENS OF THE COAL AGE (Royal Exchange), CHICKEN SOUP (Sheffield Crucible); OPERATION CRUCIBLE (Finborough Theatre, Sheffield Crucible/UK tour/59e59 New York); WEALD (Finborough Theatre); NOTHING (Royal Exchange, winner of Manchester Theatre Award); BITCH BOXER (Soho Theatre/national tour/Adelaide Fringe Festival); BOYS WILL BE BOYS (Women Centre Stage, National Theatre); CHAPEL STREET (National Tour) and YOU AND ME (Greenwich Theatre/National Tour).
The creative team includes Designer Cécile Trémolières, Lighting Designer Zoe Spurr, Sound Designer and Composer Alexandra Faye Braithwaite, Additional Musical Composition, Sophie Galpin, Movement Director Jennifer Jackson and Assistant Director Hannah Sands.