Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Fund-raising and filming

Director Alan Bentley writes:

Along with a number of other historic houses and museums, we are participating in a fund- raising effort on eBay.

Top Lots is a partnership between heritage organisations and EBay to auction “experiences” to raise money. We are auctioning Ann Dinsdale, or to be more exact we are offering the following –

An evening for a group of up to 15 people with exclusive access to the Parsonage and Garden, an introductory talk and tour followed by a unique behind-the-scenes look at items from the collection with Ann Dinsdale, Brontë Society Collections Manager and author. Wine and nibbles and entertainment with a chance to meet Branwell Brontë.

Find out more at http://www.toplots.co.uk/lots.php?id=37

On the topic of the forthcoming new film Brontë, director Charles Sturridge and his team have visited the Parsonage recently, mainly to take mouldings of stonework (and photographs) of the exterior, because it will soon be reconstructed at a location near Sheffield in South Yorkshire. Other locations will include Brodsworth Hall, near Doncaster, and Cannon Hall, near Barnsley. Haworth village will feature too – but at the moment it is not known how much.

The cast list has been changing recently, which has given rise to plenty of speculation. The latest names for the Sisters, as conveyed to me, are as follows:

Rebecca Hall (seen recently on TV as Antoinette in Wild Sargasso Sea) as Emily Brontë.

Natalie Press (seen recently on TV in Bleak House) as Charlotte Brontë.

Evan Rachel Wood (well-known from the film Running with Scissors) as Anne Brontë.

In addition, John Hurt replaces Brian Cox as Patrick Brontë, Geraldine Chaplin plays Aunt Branwell, Joan Plowright plays Tabby and Kristin Scott-Thomas plays Lady Robinson.

Brussels scenes will not be filmed in Brussels – but in Luxemberg.

Richard Wilcocks adds:

Rebecca Hall, I suspect, will be an excellent Emily, judging from her remarkable performance on BBC Four’s Wild Sargasso Sea recently. In this she is the perfect Antoinette, who can only assert herself occasionally. Her yearning for love from the cold, authoritarian Rochester is painful to watch, her vulnerability and indecisiveness beautifully conveyed. She is a creature of nature, at home in a hallucinatory landscape, who will do something mad if she is unnaturally confined, and we see that in her well before the end.


Below, Rebecca Hall


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