Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hackney Citizen reviews Bryony J. Thompson's adaptation of Jane Eyre:
Bryony J. Thompson’s masterful script works with a no-frills set and costume design to reveal a raw and powerful drama, while excellent performances from the entire cast and fast-paced, energetic stage-direction draws out its passion.
This classic take on the beauty and the beast myth stars the superb Hannah Maddison as the iron-willed but emotionally isolated Jane. “Never was anything at once so frail and so indomitable…” marvels Mr Rochester. Rob Pomfret is well cast as the rough but complex hero with the backstory to beat all backstories and a curious habit of referring to women and children as “things”.
Given the novel’s celebration of female independence, Jane Eyre has been held up as an early feminist work. Perhaps it is, although one of its era; with lines such as “you may have me, but you may not have myself” in a narrative that otherwise appears to uphold the very Victorian virtues of feminine constancy and devotion.
Secrecy and a sense of the uncanny haunt this piece, in which Rochester believes himself to be bewitched, otherworldly voices beckon, and everyone has something they’re not telling.
The feeling that all is not quite right deepens when a marriage is planned before the end of the first half. Will it all work out for these two? Well, dear reader, you didn’t think I’d spoil it did you?
This is well-produced, high quality drama. (Sarah Lewis)
Picture source
Jane Sellars writes about art for Culture 24. (Pictured: David Hockney, Ponden Hall (Thrushcross Grange), Haworth, Yorkshire (January 1983). Photographic collage).
In 1990 I entered the world of the Brontë sisters when I went to Haworth to be the director of the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
I knew that Branwell Brontë had made an unsuccessful attempt at a career as a portrait painter in Bradford in the 1830s, but I was relieved to discover that the Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, had also been artists as well as writers, with a large collection of paintings and drawings at the Parsonage and other works scattered around the world. The art of the Brontës became my next project.
And a wonderful, wonderful book came out of that.

The Museums Association blog reports that,
Last week the eclectic mix of presentations included Sue Ottley-Hughes from the Friends of Stank Hall Barn discussing its campaign to save the building, one of the oldest in Leeds; Nick Cass, from the University of Leeds, sharing the challenges of displaying contemporary art in sites such as the Brontë Parsonage Museum; and Jude Woods from Leeds Art Gallery delivering an A-to-Z of queer culture. (Rebecca Atkinson)
Yesterday's episode of Pramface (Season 3, Episode 4, Ignore the Monkey) contains a Brontë reference:
Beth: Mmm, I'm not sure what you've studied accurately reflects  the lesbian experience.
Mike: I'm just saying it's not all motorbikes and cupcakes and Charlotte Bronte. And this girl's going to have expectations!
 According to The Millions,
There are two kinds of novelists, the peckish and the ravenous: those who fastidiously nibble on the pie of human experience (Jane Austen), and those who gorge themselves on its hearty filling (Emily Brontë). (Matt Seidel)
What this columnist from the Calgary Herald writes also constitutes a new category.
Jargon is already flying thick and fast in classrooms. A colleague tells me that a test in her child’s class referred to Emily Brontë, not as an author or a writer, but as a “text creator.” Perhaps then, it’s only fitting that although Brontë has been dead for 166 years, she still has something to say about Alberta’s Inspiring Education: “Vain are the thousand creeds/ That move men’s hearts: unutterably vain/ Worthless as withered weeds/Or idlest froth amid the boundless main.” (Naomi Lakritz)
ABC (Spain) asks town mayor and writer Luz Gabás about her favourite writers:
¿Sus escritoras favoritas? «¡Esas son las preguntas que siempre se me van!». Resopla, lo piensa unos segundos, enlista: «Las hermanas Brontë. Además me gusta Rebecca Gablé y Paullina Simons, que manejan el género histórico romántico». (Tatiana Maillard) (Translation)
The Houston Chronicle features the play Rome:
John Harvey set out to write a play about 19th-century poet John Keats but discovered that he was more interested in imagining characters who could have lived around him.
The result is "Rome," a collaboration with Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Company that runs through March 22.
Keats is a character in the play, but he lies dying in the next room while his family and friends, all affluent people, turn upon themselves "in the style of drawing-room dramas by Anton Chekhov, Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë," said Harvey, 50, a Heights resident. (Don Maines)
Book-y-Business reviews Wide Sargasso Sea. El Dardo de la Palabra (in Spanish) posts about Wuthering Heights. Bittersweet Enchantment is also promoting the new paperback edition of April Lindner's Catherine. A Mulher que Ama Livros (in Portuguese) reviews The Professor. The Waiting for Mr Rochester tumblr has a nice Jane Eyre 2011 collage.

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