Review: Wuthering Heights, Oxford Shakespeare Company/Lamplighter Drama, Castle Howard gardens, tonight, 7.30pm; Saturday, Sunday, 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Box office:

"OUT on the wiley, windy moors", as Kate Bush put it in her debut chart topper, is far removed from the manicured gardens, the fragrant roses, that lead to the Walled Garden for this week's open-air production.

Bathed in evening sunlight, rather than wind-blasted, Lamplighter Drama and Oxford Shakespeare Company have to conjure their own Yorkshire moorland world within the confines of the echoing garden walls of Castle Howard's grandeur.

The stage has two rails of clothing and a mirror for swift costume changes; tables for instruments and conversations; a wooden promenade platform and step ladders of myriad sizes for climbing and bashing for sound effects.

Then add Bellowhead percussionist Pete Flood's music, often rising to thunder, but spreading to guitar and fiddle too, coupled with whistling mouthpieces for the sound of wind, as the actor-musicians build Wuthering Heights, The Grange and the moors in our imagination.

Being close up, and in a pretty garden, the sense of the rugged Yorkshire landscape is beyond the scope of Michael Oakley's production. Instead, the focus falls on the human attrition and attractions within that landscape in a newly revised version of feminist writer April de Angelis's script.

Our guide is the highly enjoyable James Sheldon's urbane Mr Lockwood, a southern gent not averse to highlighting the North-South divide, but humorously, charmingly so. Sometimes, he will watch from the front row; at others he will glide into the story; at others again, he will demand an urgent explanation of what is happening from his storytelling aide, Helen Belbin's stoic maid Nelly Dean.

We start with the second generation's story, Alice Wilby first playing Young Cathy, before transforming into her mother, Cathy Earnshaw, first seen in childhood as Tyler Conti's "gypsy boy" is brought to Wuthering Heights.

Wilby and Conti have the all -essential physical bond, while expressing the changes that ultimately break both the wilful Cathy and wild Heathcliff. There is something of Nora in Ibsen's The Doll's House about Wilby's interpretation of de Angelis's characterisation, while Conti's Heathcliff pre-figures the doomed men of the kitchen-sink dramas of the late 1950s and Sixties.

No less important are the performances of Dominic Charman, Thomas Fitzgerald, Rachel Winters and Christopher Laishley, each taking on two roles, with the contrasts and sometimes similarities adding to the production's impact.

As bird song dies out, and the night chill sets in, we leave Cathy and Heathcliff to roam the moors forever, beyond the boundaries of the Walled Garden.

Charles Hutchinson