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Villette (2016)

  • Venue: Courtyard Theatre
  • Duration: 2 hours 10
  • Other: Post Show Discussion Wed 5 Oct
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More Information on Villette (2016)

Charlotte Brontë’s Villette
Re-imagined by Linda Marshall-Griffiths

Lucy Snowe, alone and abandoned, boards a boat in search of purpose. 

Arriving at an archaeological site digging for the remains of the elusive Lady of Villette, she works alongside the beautiful Gin, the prying Beck, the charming Dr John and the remote Professor Paul, though Lucy remains an outsider.

Absorbed in her work to find a cure for the next pandemic to secure humanity’s future, can she open herself up to the possibility of love and put the bones of the past behind her?

On the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, West Yorkshire Playhouse celebrates her unique genius with a daring new adaptation by a fellow Yorkshire writer, Linda Marshall-Griffiths. With echoes of the illness and loss that wracked Brontë’s own life, both novel and play explore the redemptive power of love and the uncertainty of holding on to it.

‘It is her finest novel. All her force, and it is the more tremendous for being constricted…’
Virginia Woolf

This show contains: Strobe Lighting; Occasional Strong Language; Flashing Images

Watch the video below to find out about BSL Interpreted and Captioned Performances

Bronte Season Logo-White

Click here for more information on The Brontë Season

Associate Production Sponsor

Cast & Credits

Director Mark Rosenblatt / Designer Jess Curtis / Lighting Designer Chris Davey / Composer and Sound Designer John Harris / Movement Director Megan Kennedy / Video Designer Andrzej Goulding / Assistant Director Tess Seddon / Assistant Trainee Director RTYDS Placement Omari Swanston-Jeffers / Casting Director Kay Magson CDG /

A West Yorkshire Playhouse Prodcution

  • Philip Cairns
    as Paul/Priest
  • Catherine Cusack
    as Beck
  • Amelia Donkor
    as Gin/Polly
  • Laura Elsworthy
    as Lucy Snowe
  • Nana Amoo-Gottfried
    as John Bretton


“ Bold, intense and unconventional interpretation of Charlotte Bronte’s novel, with a powerful central performance”

- The Stage

“ ...there isn’t a bonnet in sight – but as a piece of powerful new writing it certainly gets my vote”

- Yorkshire Post

Villette Behind the Scenes

Click below to discover an insight into the Villette rehearsal process by Assistant Directors Tess Seddon and Assistant Trainee Director Omari Swanston-JeffersWelcome to Villette Weeks 1 and 2 Meet the Designer
Click on PLAY below to find out more about school visits to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth and exciting Bronte-inspired book-handling sessions at Leeds City LibraryVillette: A Practical WorkshopSat 24 Sept - Sat 15 OctA West Yorkshire Playhouse workshop based on Villette.Discover more about the adaptation of this novel and how the Playhouse brought this unique production to life.Duration: morning or afternoon (90 minutes)Suitable for: GCSE/A-Level Drama and Theatre Studies studentsAvailable: during September and October in school or at the PlayhouseCost: £165+VAT (plus travel expenses if taking place in school)Maximum: 30 studentsClick here for more information about our Education resourcesplay imagePlease contact Aoibheann Kelly, Creative Eduction Manager for more information about all workshop opportunities on

Book Tickets

Captioned Performance

Open captioning allows theatre goers with varying degrees of hearing to view the full text as it is spoken or sung, including sound effects and off stage noises. These appear on a scrolling screen, positioned on or at the side of the stage.

British Sign Language Interpreted

A signed performance is the usual full production using either the creative use of sign integrated into the performance or a British Sign Language Interpreter on stage interpreting the show for D/deaf attendees.

Audio Described

Audio Described performances are designed to improve the experience of visually impaired and blind attendees. As well as listening to the dialogue on stage the customer can wear a headset and listen to a live description of the action on stage.

Relaxed Performance

A relaxed performance is a specially selected show from our programme, with slight adaptations to make it suitable for an audience of young people or adults with learning disabilities. This may include extra lighting, additional wheelchair spaces and the freedom to move to alternative seating if required.

Dementia-Friendly Performance

A relaxed performance with adaptations to technical aspects of the show, flexible seating options and a relaxed attitude to audience responses and movement in the auditorium. In our front of house space we will have a quiet room, clearer visual markers and signage, and additional staff and volunteers trained to sensitively and respectfully welcome people living with dementia and their supporters to this show.

Sing Along

Sing along with the cast in this exclusive performance. Lyrics will be on screen, so you can join in as loud as you like. Open to all, fancy dress is optional but highly recommended.

Post Show Discussion

Parent & Baby Performance

A Parent and Baby performance enables parents to attend the theatre with their baby (under 12 months). We make small adaptations to the lighting and sound effects, including keeping the auditorium lights slightly raised. The seating is unallocated and there is a relaxed attitude to noise.

Booking Fees:

*A transaction fee of £1.95 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.


  • Captioned - Captioned
  • Signed - Signed
  • Audio Description - Audio Description
  • Relaxed Performance - Relaxed Performance
  • Dementia Friendly Performance - Dementia Friendly Performance
  • Post Show Discussion - Post Show Discussion
  • Sing Along - Sing Along
  • Parent & Baby Performance - Parent & Baby Performance
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Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
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