Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012 8:40 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
The Oxford Student has two reviews of Red Room's production of Polly Teale's Jane Eyre. One of them is more on the positive side:
The success of the play can be seen in a few simple and creative decisions. The multi-layered staging creates an intriguing set, allowing for multiple scenes to enthuse the audience simultaneously.  Particularly effective is the decision to have Bertha Mason (Joanne Murray) – the original ‘mad woman in the attic’ – on stage throughout, reacting to, and interacting with, Jane Eyre’s (Chloe Gale) every movement and emotion. It’s fascinating to see this production try to assimilate Bertha Mason into Jane Eyre’s character as her play-mate, alter-ego, and sinister spectator. It will be up to the opening night to prove whether this can truly be pulled off without leaving the audience confused and unable to follow the ploy that (in theory) really brings an interesting take on the psychology of Jane Eyre. [...]
So, for anyone who wants to see a fresh take on a classic, in conjunction with some great acting and brave staging decisions, the message is obvious: go see Jane Eyre and expect to be left breathless. (Mona Damian)
While the other dwells more on the negative aspects and gives it 2 stars:
Based on Polly Teale’s admirable adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel, this production was a mixed bag.  Despite some strong points, the acting was not wholly convincing.  Many actors were playing multiple parts and few were playing all of them well.  The notable exception was Josie Richardson who switched from kindly housemaid, with a great accent, to the cold and snobbish Blanche Ingram, then to an addled old woman. Her voice, her face, her movements changed completely in the embodiment of each new role.  Chloe Gale as Jane did well to convey the span of time across which the play takes place; she visibly matured from childish insolence through to carrying the burdens of her adult life.  Jo Murray played Bertha Mason who, at the beginning of the play, is merely a theatrical device to express Jane’s inner feelings but then, as the play develops, retreats to the attic in Thornfield, observing and reacting to the situations on stage.  Her feral ferocity was great; she emitted a profuse energy and intensity with a reddened face, contorted in angst, emitting squeals and squeaks and roars. But this good stuff was undercut by mediocrity in other characters: either too wooden or too pantomime, with forced, simpering smiles or lines that sounded like reading from a script. While it is easy to forgive a few, there were too many clipped and stumbled lines which, with that amount of regularity, belie the immersive experience that theatre should be.
The set was visually enticing: stained and tattered, decaying dust sheets cover various items of furniture. A hatstand stood on one side and a rusted chandelier lay neglected on the other, all surrounded by boxes of tat and bric-a-brac.  As a whole, a gothic glow emanated from it. The way this set was used was also ingenious. [...]
In fact, the direction (Imogen O’Sullivan and Olivia Gillman) was very good and incorporated some innovative ideas.  [...]
It was an odd production.  Some clever direction and an excellent design did not redeem two and a half hours’ worth of unexceptional acting (from some characters) and a lack of pace that should not have been present in a condensed, whistle-stop tour through what is, actually, quite a long novel. (Timothy Bano)
Patti Smith's Brontëiteness has reached Montréal. From Le Devoir:
Patti Smith a lu et relu Baudelaire, Verlaine, a été fascinée surtout par Rimbaud. « Ces jours-ci, je relis Chroniques de l’oiseau à ressort d’Haruki Murakami ; j’ai commencé à relire Roberto Bolano. Ce sont deux grands auteurs, qui me portent à écrire. Je suis aussi sur une biographie de Charlotte Brontë… » (Catherine Lalonde) (Translation)
Another well-known Brontëite is actress Sonam Kapoor who, according to NDTV,
would love to work in the movie adaptation of Emily Brontë's classic novel "Wuthering Heights".
The actress, whose film Aisha was also an adaptation of Jane Austen's 1815 novel 'Emma', says she wants to play role of Catherine in the movie.
"I already did 'Emma'. Another book I like is 'Wuthering Heights' and I love Catherine and I think that is a great character to play," Sonam told IANS.
The Wall Street Journal uses Marta Acosta's Dark Companion as one of several examples of 'How to Land a Book Deal by Writing Online!'
The Midcareer Author
Marta Acosta had already published two novels with Simon & Schuster when she had an idea for a supernatural homage to Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre." Her literary agent tried and failed to sell it, saying the vampire trend was over. Eight publishers turned it down.
Ms. Acosta decided that if she couldn't sell the novel, she would give it away. So she tried Scribd, a social reading and document sharing site with more than 100 million users. In 2010, she posted the entire 368-page novel, which tells the story of Jane Williams, a teenager who was orphaned as a child and gets a scholarship to an exclusive boarding school.
The novel was read 24,000 times, and became the top young adult novel on the site. A few months later, Ms. Acosta sold the book to the young adult imprint Tor Teen, which released hardcover and digital editions of "Dark Companion" this past summer. (Alexandra Alter)
Beards, moustaches, facial hair in The Times:
I believe I have the answer. I think I am wearing the answer right now. Steve Jobs knew it and George Clooney knows it. It took me a long time to discover the truth (though the voyage did NOT, whatever my oldest daughter might tell you, include a sideburn period brought on by a BBC production of Jane Eyre) but I ken the noo.
It is this: an electric trimmer set to number three. Will set you free. (David Aaronovitch)
Queen of Swords Book Reviews posts about The Classic Collection's Jane Eyre audiobook. Our Times writes briefly about Jane Eyre 2011. My Book Basket writes in Rumanian about Wuthering Heights. Sophie Lit reviews in French Jane, le renard et moi. Also in French, L'Esprit vagabond writes about a trip to Haworth, with pictures.

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