We discover Charlotte Brontë sitting, notebook in hand. Her siblings have all died and she is going through papers and notebooks. As she reads, her memories are triggered and she recounts incidents from the past, including her unrequited love. We also come to understand how close she was to her sisters, and how they spent a lot of time living in their own little world, the world of their own creation populated by the characters that we came to know through their writings.
Mel Dodge, who plays Charlotte Brontë, also created the script, almost entirely using the words of Charlotte herself. Charlotte fell in love with her married tutor, Professor Heger and, although the feelings were not reciprocated, she wrote him many love letters. He tore them up, but they were not totally destroyed. His wife collected and saved them, and it was their publication in 2011 that prompted Dodge to embark on this project.
Mel Dodge brings an enormous amount of knowledge and understanding of her character to the role, gleaned from her extensive reading and research. Her characterisation is superbly realised and embraces a full range of emotions as she reviews Charlotte’s life. Her excellent performance is further enhanced by the choice of venue, the historic Ayers House. This is a high quality production that you should add to your Fringe list.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: State Dining Room, Ayers House Museum, 288 North Terrace, Adelaide
Season: 7pm nightly to Sat 23rd March
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: Adults $23/Child $18/FB $21
Bookings: Fringetix Box Offices, on line here, or 1300 621 255