AS and A2 English Literature trip to West Yorkshire Playhouse for a screening of a ground-breaking new film adaptation of Wuthering Heights and a panel of academics and performers discussing the text, 10th October 2016
Forty five pupils and staff went to Leeds to see Andrea Arnold’s award-winning cinematic take on the novel Wuthering Heights, with a panel discussion on artists’ approaches to Brontë adaptations. The panel featured Linda Marshall-Griffiths, the writer behind a radical new adaptation of Villette and David Nixon OBE, Artistic Director of Northern Ballet, to discuss his approach to re-interpreting Wuthering Heights through dance. They were joined by Nancy Meckler, director of Shared Experience’s Brontë, using the Brontës’ extraordinary lives as source material. An overview of Brontë adaptations on film and an introduction to Andrea Arnold’s film was provided by Dr Michael Lawrence, Reader in Film Studies at University of Sussex. Although sometimes shocking in its depiction of nineteenth century rural life, the film was nonetheless inspiring and provoked much heated discussion among the pupils afterwards!
Having studied Wuthering Heights at AS level last year, and going on to study it again as part of the A Level course, the opportunity to hear experts discuss the work of the Brontes was a valuable one. The most interesting part was being able to hear how these works can continue to be reimaged in innovative ways, demonstrating the longevity of the texts and the way in which they can still be relevant to audiences today. The film of Wuthering Heights provided a startling interpretation of the novel, giving a real insight into the details of the world imagined by Emily Bronte.