Martin Bonger: Gilbert Markham/Arthur Huntingdon
Emily May Smith: Helen Graham Diana Brekalo: Piano
An-Ting Chang: Director Jessica Macdonald: Writer
Pam Tait: Costume Design
On Wednesday night An-Ting Chang's "Classical Collision" came to Kings Weston House in Bristol. During the five weeks since her "Carnival of the Animals" concert at Glenorchy, An-Ting has been working on her new production "The Tenant", based on Anne Brontë's novel "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall".
The story was adapted for two actors by Jessica Macdonald and brought into collision with the piano playing of Diana Brakalo by Director An-Ting Chang. The two actors, Martin Bonger and Emily May Smith were spectacular in their rôles, weaving a distressing tale of romance and despair.
With the help of excellent costumes designed by Bristol Old Vic Historian Pam Tait, Martin slipped seamlessly between rôles. As Gilbert he is gentle and personable. As Arthur he is a shocking abuser, his shameless sociopathy descending into the self-pity of the habitual bully as his misdeeds catch up with him.
Martin Bonger & Emily May Smith
Bristol Old Vic graduate, Emily May Smith, is Helen Graham, a talented, sensitive young woman, full of lively enthusiasm - but also vulnerable. Her natural desire to enjoy a creative and romantic life attracts the wrong kind of attention, which leads to a repressive and brutish existence. With incredible determination and resourcefulness, she survives - somehow. Emily's passionate portayal of Helen's crushing predicament totally commands the audience's attention.
meets Helen Graham
at Wildfell Hall
|Helen Graham - Painter|
(Photography Paul Blakemore)
An-Ting Chang & Diana Brekalo
Emily May Smith
at Kings Weston House
An-Ting Chang, who is just completing her PhD in Performance Practice at the Royal Academy of Music, seems to be endlessly creative. Her combination of classical music and theatre is unique and elicits the maximum effect and enjoyment from both. Her current team are equally talented and work together spectacularly. Martin Bonger and Emily May Smith light up the stage with their outstanding and complementary expressiveness. Diana Brekalo is clearly a very professional concert performer, but with an energetic sense of adventure perfectly suited to An-Ting Chang's "Classical Collision".
"The Tenant" continues in matinée and evening performances at Kings Weston House today (Thursday 27 April) before moving to the National Portrait Gallery in London for a 6.30pm performance on Friday 28 April and the Drill Hall in Chepstow at 7.30pm on Saturday 29 April. Three more performances are scheduled in Bury St Edmunds, Salisbury and Bath at the end of May. Details and online booking are on 'The Tenant 2017' website.
An-Ting Chang Concert Theatre
King's Weston House Bristol
Wednesday 26 April 7.30pm
Thursday 27 April 1.30 & 7.30pm
Director: An-Ting Chang
Piano: Diana Brekalo
Scriptwriter: Jessica Macdonald
A stage adaptation of Anne Brontë's
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall"
for two actors accompanied by
Alexander Scriabin: 24 Preludes
W A Mozart: Sonata K. 378
Johannes Brahms: Rhapsody Op 79 No 2
Tickets: £12 (Concession £10)