A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Underdog: The Other Other Brontë

Underdog: The Other Other Brontë
24 May 2024
National Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Underdog: The Other Other Brontë recently had its first run at the National Theatre, and is currently playing at the Nothern Stage in Newcastle Upon Tyne. The Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, three novelists whose uneven fame has survived the test of time. This new play takes a look at their struggles, familial relationships, and sibling rivalries.

Told mostly from Charlotte’s perspective, the play dives into the difficulties of women in being taken seriously as writers in the early 18hundreds. Society had a very rigid view of the roles of women, and being novelists was not within that realm. To help their situation, the sisters decide to release a book of poetry under male pseudonyms. But when Anne and Emily’s novels were later picked up for publication, Charlotte had to fight harder to get her work to readers.

With stronger ambitions and yearning for recognition, she stood out from the other sisters who were happy to preserve their anonymity through their pseudonyms. Sibling rivalries were exacerbated through strong differences in characters and wills.

Underdog is a look at these struggles and dynamics through the eyes of the eldest of the three, not shying away from showing her strength of conviction and manipulation of her siblings. It is a very intimate look at three remarkable women living in a time that made their otherness stand out uncomfortably. A well paced, fascinating examination of the three Brontë sisters and their short lives, their struggles and successes, and Charlotte’s strong will to succeed above all else.

Underdog: The Other Other Brontë is a gorgeous new play that’s a delight for any fan of classic literature.

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