We are Three Sisters

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DOI: 10.5040/9781784603335.00000002
Acts: 5. Roles: Male (5) , Female (5) , Neutral (0)

Blake Morrison's We are Three Sisters is a play about the lives of the Brontë sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne – that also draws on Anton Chekhov’s play, Three Sisters, in which three sisters trapped in a provincial army barrack town long for the vitality of Moscow. It was first performed in a production by Northern Broadsides at the Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, Halifax, on 9 September 2011, followed by a UK tour.

The play is set in Haworth, West Yorkshire, in the 1840s. In the gloomy parsonage, Charlotte, Anne and Emily Brontë light up their world with outspoken wit, aspirations, dreams and ideas. Throughout their confined lives, and despite the tyrannical hold over them of their drunk and disorderly brother Branwell, they dream of London, and they write.

In an Author's Note included in the published text, Morrison writes: 'Though much of the play is based on real events in the Brontës’ lives, and some of the words spoken are ones they used, many alterations have been made, not least to chronology. ... We are Three Sisters uses the template of Chekhov’s Three Sisters but in places departs radically from it – nothing resembling Act Four exists in the original.'

The Northern Broadsides production was directed by Barrie Rutter and designed by Jessica Worrall. The cast was Catherine Kinsella, Rebecca Hutchinson, Sophia Di Martino, Duggie Brown, John Branwell, Eileen O’Brien, Marc Parry, Gareth Cassidy, Barrie Rutter and Becky Hindley.

From We are Three Sisters

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Nick Hern Books

Blake Morrison

ISBN: 9781848422148

Series: NHB Modern Plays

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