Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 10:12 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Four stars for Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre on British Theatre.
As impressive as the acting mostly is just as much credit belongs to the large creative team whose names occupy more space in the programme than the stage team. Cookson deserves high praise for devising a fine concept and applying it in rigorous detail right through the evening. Time and again Aideen Malone’s lighting-plot transforms a mundane moment into something special, and Katie Sykes’ costumes assert the period clearly while leaving flexibility for quick changes and adaptations.
I have said nothing so far of the music in this production, which in some respects is the most notable aspect of the work. Nestled in the centre of the set is a piano, a percussion set, and space for a violinist and accordion player. Benji Bower and a couple of other musicians provide a subtle blend of jazz, folk and cute minimalist underscoring that adds deftly to the atmosphere and pacing of the whole. More specifically they provide accompaniment to Melanie Marshall, dressed in a striking scarlet gown and wandering through the action. Her sumptuous voice takes us through several songs, familiar and unfamiliar, until she is gradually revealed to be Bertha Mason herself. [...]
What then deprives this fine production of the accolade of a final star? The answer is simply that the technical bravura sometimes gets in the way of full imaginative occupation of the character. The actors are so focused on offering a tour de force that some of the points of repose, for the creation in particular of romantic chemistry between Jane and Rochester, are skated over too quickly. We sense the animation and feistiness of the connection between the two of them, and the sexual attraction too; but even at the end, I missed the full-blown romance and tenderness that this novel really demands. (Tim Hochstrasser)
On the other side of the pond, TheaterMania mentions another stage production based on Jane Eyre: John Caird and Paul Gordon's Jane Eyre the Musical. The article is actually about their Daddy Long Legs musical which apparently
 offers them far less emotionally fraught material than did Charlotte Brontë's famously spirited heroine. Rather than a fiery saga underlined with a passionate romance, Daddy Long Legs is a sweet love story on the backdrop of a spunky young girl's coming of age. (Hayley Levitt)
Best Movie (Italy) interviews Tom Hiddleston, who plays Sir Thomas Sharpe in the film Crimson Peak.
BM: Hai detto che Crimson Peak non è un film su una casa infestata, e anche del Toro si è raccomandato «non scrivete che è un film su una haunted house». Ma allora cos’è?
TH: «Del Toro ha preso spunto dai romanzi di Ann Radcliffe, di Daphne du Maurier, di Charlotte Brontë, scrittrici che ha amato e ammirato. Il romanzo gotico con sfumature sentimentali è il suo genere letterario preferito. C’è sempre un personaggio femminile molto forte e indipendente, un’eroina dalla mente aperta e dalla curiosità fervida, e in questo caso si tratta di Edith, interpretata con grande sincerità da Mia Wasikowska». (Francesca Scorcucchi) (Translation)
Tiscali (Italy) also features Hiddlestone and his role.
Interpretato anche da Mia Wasikowska e Jessica Chastain, il film è gotico, con plurime ascendenze pittoriche e non solo: per il Thomas di Hiddleston sono stati essenziali “il dipinto Il viandante sul mare di nebbia di Caspar Friedrich, e personaggi letterari e non quali Lord Byron, l’Heathcliff di Cime tempestose e il Darcy di Orgoglio e pregiudizio, che però Del Toro utilizza per disattendere le aspettative del pubblico”. (Translation)
Coincidentally, International Business Times describes the film as
Inspired by Jane Eyre, expect this gothic romance to be full of classic spine-tingling moments of horror. (Alfred Joyner)
And this is how the Cyprus Mail describes a forthcoming play called Erofili Repeat:
The play the Kypria International Festival 2015 will put on next is very similar to Wuthering Heights, only without the moors and the Yorkshire dialect. (Maria Gregoriou)
The Washington Post reviews Patti Smith's memoir M Train:
In fact, “M Train” is a bibliophile’s trove, with striking insights into the books that ignited Smith’s imagination. Of her obsession with Murakami, she writes, “And then, fatally, I began ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.’ That was the one that did me in, setting in motion an unstoppable trajectory, like a meteor hurtling toward a barren and entirely innocent section of earth. There are two kinds of masterpieces. There are the classic works monstrous and divine like ‘Moby Dick’ or ‘Wuthering Heights’ or ‘Frankenstein: a Modern Prometheus.’ And then there is the type wherein the writer seems to infuse living energy into words as the reader is spun, wrung, and hung out to dry. Devastating books.” (Elizabeth Hand)
A columnist from Flat Hat News complains about the high price of textbooks.
As I was walking out of Barnes and Noble, seething, 200 dollars poorer and only one book in hand, I vowed that my frustration would not go unheard. I bought one book, one Italian book, in which there are only 387 pages — for 200 dollars. Let me tell you what books have more pages than this one Italian book: more than half of the Harry Potter series, most versions of Brontë’s Jane Eyre and the Bible. All of which are quite literally a fraction of the price of my textbook. And I think we can all agree that one can learn a lot more from the Harry Potter series than this “Ponti Italiano Terzo Milennio” book. (Lexi Godfrey)
More on Converses a Formentor in El mundo (Spain).
En la mesa de las doce y media, Carme Riera y Victoria Cirlot trataron dos libros enormes,El mal poema de Manuel Machado y Cumbres borrascosas de Emily Brontë, y en ambos casos se alternaron un montón de puntos fascinantes con cierta sensación de excesivo didactismo. Por lo demás, Riera lanzó un par de sopapos dialécticos con desenvoltura indiferente, como al explicar que el «marxismo de salón» había arrinconado a Machado, Manuel (que pactó con el régimen franquista, sin serlo) frente a Machado, Antonio (que murió en el exilio). Cirlot recuperó un tema planteado por Justo Navarro la mañana anterior: el mal como «transgresión trágica de la ley». Y es que cabe preguntarse desde donde piensa el tema del mal una cultura relativista. (Nadal Suau) (Translation)
'Seasonal excitement' on a column from Infotel.
Things like knitting sweaters while drinking cream of Earl Grey tea, reading Brontë while it rains outside, apple picking in fashionable rain boots and making garlands out of freshly fallen maple leaves — you know, all of those things I looked forward to but would never actually do. (Andria Parker)
The Baltimore Sun highlights the word 'cachinnate' and it turns out that Charlotte Brontë happened to use it in Jane Eyre.

Bookish unveils the cover of the upcoming (March 22, 2016) Jane Eyre retelling, Jane Steele and interviews the author Lyndsay Faye:
Bookish: What made you want to write a reimagining of Jane Eyre?
LF: Well, I’ve loved that story ever since I read it when I was a kid. But I had also been binge watching Dexter and weirdly had this idea: What if another Jane had made different choices? What if some of the truly lousy people from Jane Eyre didn’t end up getting away with all the nonsense they pulled? Charlotte Brontë actually lived in that horrible school situation, for instance, and I thought it might be deeply satisfying to change some plot points. Helen Burns in Jane Eyre, for instance, dies just as Brontë’s sisters did. What a horrifying circumstance.
Often cruelty tries to shield itself within a mask of propriety, and I was especially inspired by the introduction to the second edition of Jane Eyre when Brontë wrote, “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion.” I felt as though she was looking over my shoulder when I was writing this book, wryly smiling.
Bookish: What is it that you like most about Jane Eyre? What did you most want to change in your adaptation?
LF: I think what I like most about Jane Eyre is that it is completely, unabashedly about love at the same time it is also about self-respect. What I wanted to do wasn’t to change it exactly, but to write a book that probably wouldn’t have been published before the likes of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and many others like her. But bear in mind, I don’t endorse murdering people! It’s also a satire, so there’s that element.
And finally congratulations to the Education team at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, Regional Winners of the Volunteers in Museum Learning Award as reported by the Brontë Parsonage Facebook page. EDIT: Also reported in Keighley News.


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