Another visit to Lyme’s wonderful little theatre by the sea. This time to see Publick Transport’s We Are Bronte.
The poster intrigued me and, being a bit of a Bronte fan, I booked us in. A few weeks makes a big difference to the weather and all was calm as we walked along the front this time. There can’t be many theatres that have a view like this.
We were early so had a drink in the cosy upstairs bar. The quirky decor set the scene for an even quirkier performance to come. No, you’re not seeing things, the chair really is upside down and hanging from the ceiling. It was only when I stood up to leave that I noticed the chair was accompanied by a fireplace, mantelpiece clock and lampshades, also upside down. The bar is lovely, by the way. Comfortable chairs, a stunning view over to the Cobb and excellent Pinot.
Now, to the performance. I’d read a few reviews to get an idea of what to expect but was none the wiser.
The only way I can sum it up is that it’s an exploration of Bronte themes – or tropes – in mime, comedy, dance and physical theatre. It was very funny, very clever, skilled and, at times, completely baffling. I thought it great fun. The scene where washing was pegged out in a harsh Yorkshire wind and a Kate Bush Q&A being highlights. I laughed a lot but didn’t fully understand what was going on at times. Think I need to mug up on my Bronte knowledge. It also had unexpectedly beautiful and moving moments, all the more powerful as they came bracketed in between wild and wacky humour.
Devised and performed by Angus Barr and Sarah Corbett, it’s recommended if you like adventurous, witty theatre. And, with only an hour running time, if you hate it, it has the advantage of being short.
Clever stuff though. Off to read up on why the bird motif was used throughout. Any Bronte experts out there?