Octagon Theatre Bolton and York Theatre Royal are proud to present a brand new adaptation of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Based on the novel by Anne Brontë, this new adaptation by award-winning playwright Deborah McAndrew will be directed by Octagon Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman.
In 19th century Yorkshire, a mysterious young widow, Helen Graham, and her son arrive at the desolate estate of Wildfell Hall. Isolating herself from the village, she soon becomes the subject of local gossip and speculation. Intrigued by this beautiful and enigmatic woman, a young farmer, Markham, gradually falls in love. Torn apart with her attraction to Markham and the secrets of her past, Helen finally reveals the shocking history she thought she had left behind.
At the Octagon from Thu 30 March to Sat 22 April 2017, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall welcomes three newcomers to the Octagon Phoebe Pryce (The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, Shakespeare’s Globe), who will be bringing enigmatic Helen Graham to life, and Michael Peavoy (The Musketeers, Doctors, BBC; Britannia Waves the Rules, Royal Exchange Theatre; Hamlet, National Theatre) who will be handsome farmer Gilbert Markham.
Also making her Octagon debut is Nicôle Lecky (Sense8, Netflix; Doctors, BBC; This Heaven, The Finborough Theatre), as Rose Markham and Lady Annabella Lowborough.
Returning to the Octagon after his roles in The Winter’s Tale and To Kill a Mockingbird, Marc Small (The Family Way, Robin Hood, Tull Octagon Theatre Bolton; Richard II, Coriolanus, Almeida; The I.T Crowd, Channel 4) will be Arthur Huntingdon. Octagon favourite Colin Connor (Ashes, The Winter’s Tale, Two, Two2, The Family Way, Noises Off, A View from the Bridge, Octagon Theatre Bolton) is playing Reverend Millward and Lord Lowborough. Philip Starnier (The Winter’s Tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, Singin’ in the Rain, Octagon Theatre Bolton) also returns to the Octagon as Mr Lawrence and Ralph Hattersley.
Sue Twist (Hobson’s choice, Love on the Dole, Streetcar Named Desire, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Pygmalion Oldham Coliseum; Scott & Bailey, ITV) as Mrs Markham and Rachel. Natasha Davidson (The Secret Garden, Hindle Wakes, A View From the Bridge, Octagon Theatre Bolton; The Snow Queen, The New Vic; Pygmalion, Oldham Coliseum), who is playing Eliza and Millicent.
Sharing the role of young Arthur, son of Helen Graham, are Ollie Guffogg and Adam Crompton, who played Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird. Completing the cast are two beautiful border collies, Tia and Eve, who will be playing Sancho with the help of their trainer and owner Elspeth Brown.
Despite often being often overshadowed by her elder sisters Charlotte and Emily, Anne Brontë has become recognised as a brilliant novelist in her own right in recent years. Many scholars, biographers and feminist literary critics have praised Anne for her forward-thinking, creative talent, and ability to genuinely write about issues that affected the everyday lives of women. Her 1848 novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is an ardent story of a woman’s fight against oppression, which challenged the social norms and laws of the time.
This new stage adaption has been lovingly brought to life by award-winning playwright Deborah McAndrew, author of An August Bank Holiday Lark (Best New Play, UK Theatre Awards, 2014).
Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director at the Octagon Theatre, comments: “Deborah’s adaptation has beautifully captured the passion and the bravery of Anne Brontë’s exquisite novel, which follows one woman’s fight for independence against all odds. It is such an amazing privilege to be producing this brand new adaptation here in Bolton and at York Theatre Royal, who we are very excited to be working with for this production. Audiences here in Bolton and in York will be transported into a world of mystery, intrigue, betrayal, and love.”
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall will be playing at the Octagon Theatre Bolton between Thu 30 March – Sat 22 April. Ticket prices from £27.50 - £11.