Cathy and Heathcliff embrace in Wuthering Heights. Photograph: Andy Barker
Cathy and Heathcliff embrace in Wuthering Heights. Photograph: Andy Barker

Kate Bush is not the only Wuthering Heights fan coming to town. Helen Tennison’s adaptation of Emily Brontë’s haunting tale will be performed at the intimate Rosemary Branch theatre for a three-week run this month.

Director Tennison is a long-term collaborator with the Rosie and has been central in designing the set, which evokes the wild Yorkshire Moors where Cathy and Heathcliff’s tragic love is played out.

“Like all the best directors, Helen has a particular vision,” says the Rosemary Branch’s artistic director Cecilia Darker.

“The set is so designed that you’re not sure whether you’re on the inside or the outside – it’s overgrown and covered in moss and lychen.”

One of the challenges of this production, Darker says, was adapting the play to very different spaces – from their six by six metre stage to the vast space of Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn where the play will head to later on its tour.

But Tennison is excited about this challenge and says the strength of the acting combined with Brontë’s universally applicable story means it can resonate wherever it is staged.

“Brontë’s asking questions about how we love; I think that’s what draws people to it. We’re drawn to it because Cathy and Heathcliff’s love is so passionate, so raw and so all-encompassing.”

Cathy is played by local actress Lucinda Lloyd, one of the six actors in the young cast, some of whom play up to three parts.

Wuthering Heights is at the Rosemary Branch Theatre, 2 Shepperton Road, N1 3DT until 27 April.

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