“Wuthering Heights is such an epic story but we are doing it a little differently and going right for the jugular, as if you are in a court room and the audience is the jury,” Giulia Innocenti explains.
Guilia, a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Inspector Sands which is staging the Bronte classic, is hugely excited about their adaption, which is already receiving rave reviews and coming to Oxford Playhouse from Tuesday (May 9) next week.
“It’s like putting the characters on a petri dish and looking at them under a microscope”
She plays the servant Nelly, who narrates the story of Wuthering Heights through flashbacks. And while many remember the historic tale as a heroic love story, Inspector Sands wanted to reflect a more contemporary and relevant message.
“It’s as much about making a monster and what isolation can do to you, as a love story and that’s what makes Wuthering heights so exciting,” she says. “It’s like putting the characters on a petri dish and looking at them under a microscope.
“So, it’s not right to call it a love story. It’s more about what you can do to people in the name of love and the horrors that are committed.”
“HEATHCLIFF IS SUCH A TRAGIC FIGURE AND ALWAYS AN OUTSIDER IN A REALLY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT, WHICH REALLY RESONATED IN TODAY’S POLITICAL CLIMATE”
“Because Heathcliff is such a tragic figure and always an outsider in a really hostile, unwelcoming environment, which really resonates in today’s political climate,” she adds.
“I think after lockdown we can all relate to that; the increased tensions in a domestic setting, so it gets quite Tarantino in parts, but don’t worry there is lots of humour as well.
“It’s dark but the comedy comes out of that. We didn’t know if the audience would find it funny until we put it in front of them, but it seems to work,” she smiles.
“we like a challenge and always have a desire to do things a little differently. We have to own it”
A big challenge then? “Yes but we like a challenge and always have a desire to do things a little differently. We have to own it.”
As for Nelly, Giulia admits she is deeply flawed. “Nelly does her best and tries to do the right thing, but her own jealousies and tragic backstory hold her back.
“Nelly is haunted by the events, it’s as if she has PTSD, because she carries so much guilt. But there is also a real lack of structure amongst the characters, and an absence of mothers and mothering, and Nelly is the frame to all that.”
So what has been the response so far? We hope our audiences will be moved, because this withering Heights is as exciting, funny and compelling, as it is brutal.
“So come and watch something you won’t expect and be entertained. You won’t be bored that’s for sure,” she promises.
Wuthering Heights runs at Oxford Playhouse from May 9-12. For more info go to www.oxfordplayhouse.com