Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has been adapted for the stage by Emma Rice in a co-production between York Theatre Royal, Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and National Theatre.
Rice will also direct the show, with set and costume design by Vicki Mortimer, sound and video by Simon Baker, composition by Ian Ross, movement and choreography by Etta Murfitt and lighting design Jai Morjarian.
Most people will be familiar with the story Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff is adopted from Liverpool by the Earnshaws and finds a kindred spirit in Catherine… beginning a fierce love affair. When forced apart, a brutal chain of events is unleashed.
Of course, Rice’s production will not be a straightforward retelling of the book. Indeed it has been transformed into a unique theatrical experience with a little help from music and dance along the way.
Rice is the Artistic Director of theatre company Wise Children, known for radical retellings of classic stories. In 2019 Rice received the UK Theatre Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre, showcasing just how astoundingly good she is at her craft.
Lucy McCormick will play Cathy and Ash Hunter plays Heathcliff, leading a wider company of talented performers and musicians.
McCormick’s previous theatre credits include Post Popular, Roller Diner, First Love is the Revolution (Soho Theatre), Lessons for Life (Battersea Arts Centre), Dear Elizabeth, Effigies of Wickedness (Gate Theatre), Collective Rage (Southwark Playhouse), Cinderella (Oxford Playhouse), The Naked Truth (UK tour), Splat! (Barbican Centre), and The House of Bernada Alba (Tristan Bates Theatre). Hunter’s previous theatre credits include Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (National Theatre), Pitcairn (Shakespeare’s Globe), Antony and Cleopatra (RSC/Public Theatre, NYC), God’s Property (Soho Theatre), Unrivalled Landscape (Orange Tree Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Almeida Theatre), Gravity (Birmingham Rep) and A Clockwork Orange (Theatre Royal Stratford East)
Announcing the production – delayed because of pandemic lockdown – Emma Rice said: “It is with an earthy spring in my step and epic twinkle in my eye that I announce our new plans for Wuthering Heights. So many projects have fallen by the wayside during lockdown that there were times when I lost hope – but there was no need! Wise Children are back; stronger, wiser and grateful for the chance to sing and dance again. The exceptional cast, crew, administrative and creative teams are ready to go and we are fizzing with ideas, dreams and anticipation. Emboldened and humbled by the enforced break, I feel truly lucky. I cannot wait to get back to doing what I love most and to share this thrilling and important piece with the world. It’s time.”
Don’t miss the show when it comes to York Theatre Royal from 9th – 20th November 2021.
Photograph credited to Steve Tanner