Theatre Review: Wuthering Heights

Cynthia Jessup, staff writer

It is a tale of horror and lost love.

Last weekend, the Aquila Theater brought Emily Bronte’s work, “Wuthering Heights,” to Mason’s Center for the Arts.

This adaption focused on the relationship between Heathcliff and Cathy. Cathy Earnshaw is the daughter of Mr. Earnshaw, who is also the adoptive father of Heathcliff and lord of Wuthering Heights. The show is from Cathy’s view and is normally viewed from third-person. Also, this production ends in the middle of Bronte’s work. The performance takes on a life of its own and the audience succumbs to the madness of Cathy Earnshaw. The unforgettable heroine is played by Kali Hughes.

In the time of the 1800s, this tale begins with the arrival of Heathcliff, played by Dale Mathurin, as the newly adopted son of Senior Earnshaw. Hindley, Earnshaw’s son, is envious of his father’s affections to Heathcliff. When his father dies, misery and contempt befalls Healthcliff. Heathcliff falls in love with Cathy and she requites it. As fate would have it, Heathcliff is unsuitable for Cathy. She knows this and becomes angry and distraught and agrees to marry a man of higher status. Having both survived the brutal demands of her brother, Hindley, they bond together in the hopes of finding happiness and content.

The play was enrapturing and I found myself falling in love again with this classic tale. The actors continued to outdo my expectations as the play progressed; the acting became more intense and the emotions were synced with my own.

The last scene stood out to me. I felt that the play had its own heartbeat and crescendo — thumping rapidly at this pivotal point.

“The last scene was the hardest; the emotions came all at once,” Mathurin said.

This scene was played so well because of the intense emotion without overdoing and keeping the audience riveted on the scene was really important and difficult. It was difficult because it required a lot of passion, strength of character and the stability of mind to not get carried away with the emotions exuded by the characters.

“I agree, it was a point for Cathy that was tearing her apart — the insanity, the strength, the anger and despair,” Hughes added.

The play was definitely a treacherous storm to watch—no one came out the same.

Photos by Richard Termine.