THE success of The Garrick’s Bronte by Polly Teale is down to the smooth blending of fact with fiction and moving effortlessly through time.

It’s about the creativity of the Bronte siblings and their relationship with each other.

In this case they are not the gentle sisters usually portrayed but are full of melodramatic passion which goes for their brother, too.

Their books were written at a time when women writers were frowned upon yet the sisters light the spark of genius.

This is the time when brother Branwell returns home in disgrace after a passionate affair with his employer’s wife, and turns to the bottle.

Charlotte and Emily write of fictional characters such as Bertha Rochester and Cathy Earnshaw who return to haunt them.

These are the most difficult scenes in a difficult play to make convincing but Marcella Haze who plays them both, succeeds perfectly.

The two leading novelists are played by Parissa Zamanpour as Charlotte and Amy-Lou Harris as Emily who convey well the differences in their characters.

We also learn more about Anne Bronte who acts as peacemaker between her two warring sisters. She is played by Portia Dodds whose portrayal of her final illness and last visit to the seaside is sad,

Andrew Higson is authoritative as Patrick Bronte, whose role reflects the patriarchal society in which they live, as well as three other characters.

The roles of Branwell, Heathcliff and Arthur Huntingdon go to Anthony Morris whose passionate portrayal of the inebriated Branwell is unforgettable.

Geoff Scullard’s lighting is exceptional especially when creating the effect of burning pages.

This play could easily become confusing but director, Barry Purvis ensures that it never does.

• Bronte is at Altrincham Garrick playhouse until Saturday, March 16. For tickets, telephone 0161 928 1677 or from

• Star rating: * * * *