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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bronte Land: the Place to Be!

From Summit Daily News, the Bronte Land hoax makes second place of best April Fool's day media hoaxes:

2) Bronte Land

My friends in Haworth, Yorkshire, shared this one with me. A few years ago, during the week of April first, one of the weekly newspapers ran a front page cover story claiming that the entire village of Haworth had been sold to an American company - I believe it was Disney - and would be turned into a theme park, to be called "Bronte Land."

(For those of you scratching your heads over this one, the mid-19th century literary Bronte sisters not only put their hometown of Haworth on the map - thanks to the success of novels such as "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights" - but also have continued to be the main industry for the village, making it the number-two literary tourist attraction in England, after Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon).

Anyway, the highlight of "Bronte Land" was going to be a huge monorail, stretched out over the entire length of the moors above the village. Every so often, a local will bring up the "Bronte Land" hoax again and, with a profound shudder, show you a copy of the newspaper.

My dear readers, Glaukopis- my Cambridge friend and fellow Classicist- and I had planned an intricate and (hopefully) amusing hoax for you, but since we have gone to grad school, our lives have shrivelled up into pathetic nothings and trips to the library. Our plan was to create a fake audio demo for a musical version of Jane Eyre. We had difficulties... no men were willing to take part, and both of us wanted to play Mr Rochester (although she has by far the best Bertha laugh). We began writing our own songs, in fact, and also modified some pre-existing songs with new lyrics (our favourites were: 'Mawidge is glowious!' from A Perfect Match, and 'Deep in my secret soul, I'm-a kill him!' from Secret Soul, just to give Bertha more than some spooky trilling in the background).

I mention all of this because it is fairly certain that we will never, ever, ever, record it (although I still have recordings of her singing As Good As You). I was writing a ballad for Mr Rochester's 'Nameless Bliss' song. It would have been brilliant, believe me... if I could write music.

You can listen to the original, non-bastardised versions of these songs from the fabulous Toronto cast recording below:

Secret Soul
Perfect Match
(the guilty pleasure. This song is terrible, but so fun- Gilbert and Sullivan meet George Frederick Handel).

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