Alison Neil is no stranger to Church Stretton Arts Festival, having previously performed The Sixth Wife, the story of the life of Catherine Parr, and The Shakespeare Ladies Club. Writing and performing her shows, Alison specialises in strong and influential women in history.
This time, Alison presents Truly Yours, C.B. the story of Charlotte Brontë, her remarkable and sometimes “off the wall” but very talented family and their life at Haworth. It touches on her writing Jane Eyre, of Shirley and Villette, and of her falling for a married man, Constantin Héger, and writing “coarse” letters to him.
Devoted to her strange and unworldly family, Charlotte Brontë was also wildly ambitious. Whilst remaining a self-effacing and dutiful daughter, abiding by all the restrictions of early Victorian life, she managed the incredible feat of becoming a hugely famous novelist. The instant success of Jane Eyre, Shirley and Villette found her mixing with the literary giants of the age.
The joy of literary success was tempered by the scandalous fall of her brother Branwell, and a succession of family disasters. Charlotte’s own life, however, had an extraordinary, happy twist at the end.
The Brontë family’s story has captivated the imagination for a century and a half. Alison Neil’s portrayal of the life of Charlotte Brontë – using many of Charlotte’s own words – provides an exceptional theatrical treat.
Alison Neil began her professional acting career in 1978. Before embarking on her one-woman shows, she appeared in numerous theatre productions including the national tour and West End production of Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (playing Ophelia), and Little Lies (with Sir John Mills) playing Beattie Tomlinson in the West End, on national tour and in Canada.
Other UK theatre roles include Elvira in Blithe Spirit, Mrs De Winter in Rebecca, Cecily in The Importance Of Being Earnest, Maria in The School For Scandal, Kitty in Ayckbourn’s Taking Steps, Amelia Sedley in Vanity Fair, Midge in The Hollow and Connie in Allan Bennett’s Habeus Corpus. Alison has worked extensively in children’s theatre, including nine productions at the Polka Children’s Theatre, London and more recently with Krazy Kat Theatre Company. She has also worked in radio, film and television.
Alison has a Website