A Bronte Christmas Carol
Moor Lodge, Stanbury
By Simon Wilkinson
Charlotte Bronte discovers an unpublished novel written by her deceased sister Emily and is confronted one evening by the ghost writer herself – together with brother Branwell.
Charlotte realises Emily’s manuscript unveils secrets about the family of authors she prefers to remain private.
The dialogue between the decorous, pensive Charlotte and her bohemian brother reflects the tensions that surely existed between the two.
The play was acted out in the bleak location of Moor Lodge near Stanbury and iIn a strange twist, Ian Howard (Branwell) interrupts the performance to reveal his theory that the building where we sit was possibly the inspiration for Ferndean in Jane Eyre.
The evening contained numerous references to the Brontes’ connections with Halifax.
We discover that the Courier’s predecessor, the Halifax Guardian, published poems by Anne Bronte, together with works by Branwell.
In 1837, the 19-year-old Emily gained inspiration for her work when she taught at Southowram.
Perhaps more a playlet than a full play, this quaint piece is a must for Bronte afficionados.
Lynn Marie Cunliffe, who played Charlotte, exhibited her range of exquisite hand-made period gowns. Ten year-old Tom Howard played the flute.