Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013 2:57 am by M. in    No comments
The Times and The Sidmouth Herald report the death of Charles Vance (1929-2013):
An influential figure in British theatre, Charles Vance was a rogueish but often very successful commercial touring producer who specialised in presenting popular plays, including thrillers by Agatha Christie. He directed and produced more than 100 productions of Christie’s plays which toured in Britain and Australia. He also ran several repertory theatres, founded the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford and for many years edited the magazine Amateur Stage.
He was an impresario, a producer and a theatre director but also he adapted for the stage both Jane Eyre (in 1983/85, dates vary) and Wuthering Heights (around 1972 according to this source, although Patsy Stoneman's Brontë Transformations says that its origins are to be traced back in the sixties). His adaptations were (and are) still popular as they usually require few actors and less settings:

Jane Eyre. Play. Charlotte Brontë. Adapted by Charles Vance
M4 (30s) F6 (young, 18, 20s, middle age, elderly) (F5 with doubling), 1 child. A library and passageway.

Focusing on the love story between Jane and Rochester, the play begins as Jane arrives in 1846 to take up the post of governess to Rochester's ward, Adèle, at Thornfield Hall. Jane and Rochester fall in love but their happiness is jeopardised with the discovery of the terrible secret from Rochester's past, resolved by the dramatic fire which maims Rochester. The action, contained in a single setting with one small inset scene, makes for exciting theatre.
Wuthering HeightsPlay. Emily Brontë, adapted for the stage by Charles Vance
M6 F4. Composite setting.

A new version of Emily Brontë's great classic, the immortal love story set amid the bleak beauty of Haworth Moor, the landscape over which towers the wild, terrible figure of Heathcliff. The tale of his searing passion for the beautiful Catherine Earnshaw has the vividness of nightmare, the beauty and simplicity of an old ballad and the depth and intensity of ancient tragedy. Period nineteenth century.

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