A tale of sibling rivalry, love and tragedy

The Rossendale Players are preparing to mark their 80th anniversary with a special production celebrating the bicentenaries of the famous Bronte siblings.

The amateur theatre company will stage Blake Morrison’s We Are Three Sisters at Waterfoot’s New Millennium Theatre in October.

As well as being the 80th anniversary of the Rossendale Players, 2016 also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of famous 19th century novelist Charlotte Bronte.

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Next year will also mark 200 years since the birth of her brother Branwell, while 2018 and 2020 will mark the bicentenaries of younger sisters and fellow novelists Emily and Anne.

“We were absolutely delighted to discover that we share this special anniversary year with Charlotte Bronte. So when it came to selecting a play for our celebratory production, We Are Three Sisters seemed the perfect choice and one that we very much hope our audiences will enjoy,” said Christine Durkin, chairman of the Rossendale Players, who is co-directing the play with Rita Chew.

We Are Three Sisters is set against the backdrop of a dark, remote northern town – Haworth in the 1840s; in a gloomy parsonage where there are neither curtains nor comforts, Charlotte, Anne and Emily Bronte light up their world with outspoken wit, aspirations, dreams and ideas. And throughout their confined lives intensely lived...they write.

Like many contemporary female writers, the three sisters originally published their poems and novels under male pseudonyms: Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.

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Anyone who has read a Brontë novel – Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, Emily’s Wuthering Heights or Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – cannot fail to be stirred by their overwhelming humanity, charged emotion and brooding and prescient unease with the status quo.

Now the Rossendale Players are inviting audiences to get to know the voices behind them.

With exquisitely drawn characterisations, a nod to Chekhov and a touch of poetic license, We Are Three Sisters is a pearl of a play, which evokes with piercing clarity the life and distinct personalities of these three spirited individuals.

The Rossendale Players has assembled a stellar cast with stage regular Helena Lockett-Soule playing passionate, determined older sister Charlotte, newcomer Sophie Longmire playing fanciful and dreamy middle sister Emily, and returning actress Siobhan Morris playing young, idealistic Anne. The play sees the three sisters interact with a lively ensemble of supporting characters played by Jim Rowe, Patrick Duffy, Rebecca Crampton, Maureen Jackson, Stephen Woods and Martyn Frost.

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There will be seven performances of We Are Three Sisters from Saturday 1st to Saturday October 8th at the New Millennium Theatre on Burnley Road East, Waterfoot.

Tickets are £9 and are on sale now. Call 01706 2228720, call into Watts News next door to the theatre, or book online via the TicketSource link on the website at www.rossendaleplayers.org.uk.