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Theatre in the Forest – Wuthering Heights @ Jimmy’s Farm!

Vist Daisy Jones's Profile

Theatre in the Forest – Wuthering Heights @ Jimmy’s Farm!

Every year, Red Rose Chain produces its celebrated Theatre in the Forest shows, and every year audiences are thrilled and entertained by their performances. This year is no different.

As I squelched over to my seat, the skies were darkening overhead, providing the perfect backdrop for the eerie tale. Set in Gimmerton churchyard with the characters portrayed as ghosts re-experiencing the past, the forest clearing at Jimmy’s Farm, where Red Rose Chain is spending a second summer, serves as the perfect venue.

Red_Rose_Chain_Wuthering_HeightsThings get spooky – especially with a peacock occasionally squawking.

A talented cast deliver the angstiest love story ever told with gusto, complete with a song extolling the virtues of Penistone Crags, more arguments than you can shake a stick at – and some stick-shaking. With most of the cast on stage throughout the performance, the show creates and maintains a high level of intensity – but whenever things get grim, the charming antics of Hareton (Joel Johnson) and some impressively arranged songs and dances provide light relief.

Theatre in the Forest Wuthering Heights
Consider my teenage crush on Heathcliff fully reawakened.

I caught up with Artistic Director Jo Carrick and actress Kirsty Thorpe after the show.
“Outdoors is the perfect setting for Wuthering Heights,” says Jo, “It’s so elemental. I love Austen but it feels very indoors. This just feels right.”
Although working outside provides its own unique problems, including mud, rain, and an unexpected family of mice joining the cast, Kirsty assures me “We’re at one with the animals now!”

Red_Rose_Chain_Wuthering_Heights
Love is a force of nature. Golly.

For me, one of the most memorable things about the show is the songs (you’ll be humming them around the house for weeks) and it’s obvious that a lot of work went into them.
“We worked with a musical director,” says Jo, “We spent a week just working on the songs.”
“They’re a great part of the storytelling,” adds Kirsty.

Red_Rose_Chain_Wuthering_Heights
It’s like a Victorian version of ‘Thriller’.

But Wuthering Heights isn’t the only play at Theatre in the Forest this year – the same cast is also performing Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.
“The two plays couldn’t be more different, which is why we chose them,” says Jo.
“We were rehearsing Wuthering Heights while performing Comedy of Errors,” says Kirsty, “It was good to get a break from all the drama, Comedy of Errors is just hilarious. I’m really looking forward to doing it again.”

Wuthering Heights is an engaging and entertaining show, well worth braving the elements. So get your wellies on for an evening of drama and excitement!

Theatre in the Forest is running at Jimmy’s Farm, Ipswich until August 24. Don’t miss it – get your tickets now!

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