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“I had a long look round at adaptations of the book and I couldn’t find anything that told the story the way I wanted to tell it, or that seemed like it was being true to the text so I decided I would adapt it myself,” she says.
Resisting the temptation to modernise, Thompson felt the story was of its time. Taking Jane out of the 1840s would mean the proto-feminist narrative would all but disappear and the director wanted to keep Jane’s journey of self-discovery as the heart of the play.
“Deciding to go back [to Mr Rochester] is one of the most lovely stories, it is essentially a love story but it is also about how to be moral, and right in love,” she says.
Thompson has kept Brontë’s original words, lifting the sentences straight off the page and onto the stage. The design is intended to feel like “a book coming to life”, and plays homage to the texture of writing using materials inspired by parchment, vellum and leather. (Ella Jessel)
By Charlotte Brontë
Adapted and directed by Bryony J Thompson
Original Score James Young
This gripping adaptation of a favourite classic, part ghost story, part Gothic romance, and part religious tract is back by popular demand following last year's sell out run. Charlotte Brontë's original text is combined with the actual narrative to literally bring the book to life. Set in 1840s northern England, the early stirrings of feminism shine through the strict adherence to social hierarchy, giving this venerated novel its iconic status.
With Lily Beck, Philip Honeywell, Helen Keeley, Hannah Maddison, Rob Pomfret, and Joss Wyre.
Sunday 6.00pm (No show Saturday 15 March)