Farnworth Little Theatre

Runs until Saturday

Tickets from 0845 643 0808 /

The Bronte family have left a literary legacy that tells the most realistic and true to life stories of their time, and seeing it dramatised by Polly Teale’s stage play is testimony the work of the well know and revered sisters. With innovative and creative direction by Natalie Crompton, this slick production is packed full of pathos and emotional performances by a strong and talented cast.

Nathalie Haley sustains a passionate performance throughout with an evocative and sensual style. Ben Kilburn delivers his four roles with gusto, with convincing Irish accent. Ben is easy to watch and displays expressive characterisation.

Moving on to the family, Andrew Turton portrays the stoic Father, Patrick well. James Haslam has a trio of roles but comes into his own as Branwell, the family’s only brother who turns to drink and takes a mistress. James never disappoints by his acting ability and this performance was no different.

Taking on such a title and playing roles of such well known characters is not an easy task; however, the Bronte sisters are in the safe hands of three cracking actresses who were all consumed in each role. Ellie Murphy gives Emily Bronte the right amount of independence and determination as this strong willed character made her mark on life.

Rebecca Anderson delights as Ann Bronte, an innocent and well considered performance that was subtle, enchanting and well timed.

Last but my no means least, Esme Mather turns in a stunning performance as Charlotte. Intense, sincere and positively devoted to her Father, Esme displayed effortless emotion, strength and tenacity as she strived to keep her family together, forgoing her own happiness. The sadness here is that her finding of happiness and eventual love was short lived by her early demise at the age of 39.

Excellent costumes by Susan Howard and Bell costumes, and an impressive set by Phil Brookes, Chris Norris, Dave Eyre and Elaine Gawthorpe enhanced the quality of this production. Lighting by Phil Brookes provides some great mood effects that really enhanced the ambience of the piece

If you have a spare night this week, take yourself along to FLT – you will not be disappointed

Paul Cohen