Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 10:23 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Madeleine Worrall writes about playing Jane Eyre at the National Theatre/Bristol Old Vic adaptation of Jane Eyre for The Arts Desk.
Jane Eyre is one of those books of which people feel intensely possessive. The immediacy of its rage, disappointment, pain, loss, joy, uncertainty – the enduring power of the “poor orphan child” (Harry Potter anyone?!) – catches at its readers’ hearts. And we knew it was imperative that we told our version of the story, singularly and with total commitment, hoping to distil in some way the essence of Charlotte Brontë’s extraordinary creation while nevertheless making it something new. A piece of theatre should never attempt to be a straight “adaptation” of a book. You can’t simply fill the stage with dialogue – and, believe me, it was a monstrous task to decide which bits to keep, Brontë’s dialogue is so extraordinary – and turn it into a series of “scenes”. You may as well stay at home in front of a good fire and re-read the book itself.
No, we knew that our approach would be to make it intrinsically theatrical. Sally works with Benji Bower, our composer and MD, a lot, and together they have a symbiotic understanding of the emotional and dramatic world they wish to create; at times it feels operatic in its scope, but as ever Benji brings wit and surprise to his use of music. There is plenty an audience might not expect when they hear the words “Jane Eyre”. It is a thrilling, terrifying process, taking a story you’ve loved since you were a child (I too, dear reader, am one of those passionate fans of the book), ripping it apart to find its theatrical essence, and then daring to play it on the stage. We do it with love and passion for Charlotte Brontë’s original, extraordinary conception. Fingers crossed.
The Stage recommends the show (sort of, anyway):
Do we need another version of Jane Eyre? Sally Cookson’s production, a condensed version of the Bristol Old Vic two-parter promises to pay as much attention to Jane’s often sidelined childhood as to the Rochester romance, to the red room and the bleak years at Lowood, all of which make it an intriguing proposition. (Natasha Tripney)
Victoria Sadler is not very impressed by the production.

Big Issue North shares the diary of 'fight director' Renny Krupinski:
26 August [...]
On Wednesday I’m back with the BBC in the afternoon and on Friday, Hollyoaks has fitted me in in the morning for a fight scene, then I’m off to the National Theatre in London in the afternoon to put the final touches to the staging of a fight in Jane Eyre. [...]
4 September
So, we are now coming to the end of rehearsals, with two runs today and a run on Saturday. Annoyingly, I cannot rehearse this Friday as I’m filming Hollyoaks and then travelling straight down to the National Theatre for a technical rehearsal of Jane Eyre.
Vulture interviews cartoonist Kate Beaton:
In a just world, Kate Beaton’s work would be required reading in schools. For the better part of a decade, the gifted Canadian cartoonist has crafted pithy strips about literature and history that are simultaneously high-minded and delightfully vulgar. Just a few of the best examples: a series of three-panel tales about Queen Victoria’s lust for her royal consort; the narrator of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights offering a joint before telling the novel’s insane story; and extrapolations of the weird covers of early Nancy Drew books.[...]
But you know more about the Brontë sisters than I do, so we even out. Maybe. I’ve been to their hometown! It’s Brontëmania over there.
What did you do there? There’s a comic show in Leeds called "Thought Bubble," and it was a 30-minute train ride from it. I just popped in. Their house is a museum, and there are a lot of bars there that market themselves as their brother Branwell’s favorite bar. But he was an alcoholic and he died from drinking!
What is it about the Brontë literature that makes it so rich for mining in your comics? I don’t know. I feel a lot of comradeship with the Brontës. They’re three women writers, and I’m one of four girls. They wrote, they created themselves, and created these stories and worlds, and they had to pretend to be men in order to get their books published at first, with androgynous pen names. And they created these works of fiction that are not really romances, but because they’re women they’re taken as romances. Like, Wuthering Heights is not really a romance, but people believe that it is, partially because it’s about a relationship between a man and a woman, but also because it was written by a woman. But then you read it and you’re like, These people are terrible!  It’s almost like a horror novel at times.Yeah, like a Gothic horror. Even in Jane Eyre, it’s a not like Mr. Rochester is a dreamboat. I really like the way that people want them to be romances, when they’re not. Listen: Just accept those books for what they are! (Abraham Riesman)
Ángeles Caso is promoting her new book on the Brontë sisters, Todo ese fuego, all over the Spanish press.
Caso ha declarado que este libro es un "homenaje a estas mujeres", a las que califica de "excepcionales", así como "valientes", pero también "impresionantes" y de "talento enorme". Caso define a las hermanas Brontë como unas mujeres que estuvieron "en contra del mundo, de las costumbres sociales y de las normas del momento", en el que las mujeres no tenían voz propia, eran sumisas y obedientes. La escritora ha afirmado que sentía una gran admiración por estos personajes históricos, de los que leyó sus novelas, sus biografías y sus estudios críticos. Según relata, decidió dedicarles una novela tras casi tres años de documentación y después de quedarse impresionada tras visitar su casa-museo. Asimismo, señala que "no se sabe tanto sobre la vida de las Brontë". (20 minutos) (Translation)
Fue precisamente una visita hace tres años a este viejo edificio de piedra lo que provocó que Ángeles Caso decidiera meterse en la piel de las hermanas Brontë. "Soy muy mitómana; me gusta visitar casas de escritores, de músicos,...¡Tengo tanto respeto y admiración por tantas personas! que me emociona mucho estar en los espacios en los que vivieron".
A la vuelta de ese viaje, Caso, que vive "un momento zen" en pleno campo asturiano, se empapó de cuanto se ha escrito sobre las Brontë, que es mucho, además de releer su obra. "Lo mío con ellas viene de lejos. En el mundo anglosajón son mitos de la literatura y de la historia de las mujeres".
"Yo -continúa- las admiraba muchísimo como escritoras, pero cuando vas descubriendo en qué condiciones escribieron, cómo eran sus vidas, cuáles eran las circunstancias que las rodearon, no te queda más remedio de caer rendida a sus pies. Las admiro como escritora, como lectora y como mujer. Fueron una suerte de milagro".
Si hay algo de ellas que llama la atención de Ángeles Caso es la pasión que existe en todo cuanto escribieron. "Una pasión que, como mujeres, tienen que hacer todo lo posible por apagar, que esconder, porque así se lo exige las estrictas normas de la sociedad victoriana. Es lo que más me impresiona de ellas", insiste. (El diario) (Translation)
La verdad has an article about it too.

Bluff Country Reader recommends the book The Hired Girl By Laura Amy Schlitz because it has
vivid settings that will remind you of Brontë and Dickinson works. (Terri Schlichenmeyer)
The Arts Desk interviews artist Chantal Joffe:
What books are you currently reading?At the moment I’m reading Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art by Nancy Princenthal. I'm also reading Jane Eyre aloud to my daughter. I'd forgotten it – the sense of her despairing boredom, her "stagnation" on that cold winter's day when she walks to Hay to post a letter for Mrs Fairfax. It reminds me of when I was at art college, my friend and I used to sit dangling our legs through the bannisters outside the studios, wishing aloud that something exciting, anything, would happen – and then in Mr Rochester rides on his big horse and literally slips at her feet. (Fisun Güner)
Clarion Online makes an interesting point:
Your first impression of me could differ greatly if I said my favorite book was “The Longest Ride” by Nicholas Sparks as opposed to a book such as “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë. (Hannah Cole)
According to The Telegraph, when it comes to literary tourism,
With Emily Brontë, it’s easy. You tick off Wuthering Heights and Haworth. (Chris Moss)
The Worksop Guardian also discusses tourism and puts Haworth (or Howarth, as they spell it!) as an example:
Tourism experts and marketeers say they are doing plenty to attract the visitor dollar, but our exploitation of our famous historical figures, writers, artists and the like, pails into insignificance when you compare it to what Shakespeare has done for the sleepy Warwickshire town of Stratford-upon-Avon, or Howarth - the home of the Brontë siblings. (Danielle Hayden)
And congratulations to the lovely people at Ponden Hall, as The Telegraph has selected Ponden Hall as one of '10 great secret British B&Bs'.
Ponden Hall, near Haworth, West Yorkshire
This is a house brimming with atmosphere - said to be the inspiration for Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Your host, Julie, has an impressive knowledge of the hall’s history and she offers tours of her fascinating home. Arrive for tea and home-baked cake and soak up the atmosphere created by the mullion windows, huge flagstones, period pieces and original paintings. Bedrooms have just the right balance of luxury and individuality: you may get an amazing box bed, a rocking horse, or raftered ceilings – two rooms have log-burning stoves. A full Yorkshire breakfast is served in the magnificent main hall. Walk the Pennine Way, hop on a steam train at Keighley or visit the Brontë’s home at nearby Haworth.
From £85 per night for a double room (01535 648608; (Alastair Sawday)
Delaware Public Media shares a wonderful anecdote of Charlotte Brontë:
With such scaremongering, it was scarcely surprising that the novelist Charlotte Brontë refused to drink tea infused with "the least particle of green leaf" for fear it would keep her up all night. When she stayed at the Manchester home of her friend, fellow novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, the latter, knowing that the only tea she had was a mix of green and black, shrewdly kept mum about it and served it for evening tea. In the morning she asked her guest how she had slept. "Splendidly!" was her answer. Gaskell would gently ridicule this phobia in her novel Cranford, through the persona of the kind and unworldly spinster Miss Matty, who thinks shudderingly of green tea as "a slow poison, sure to destroy the nerves, and produce all manner of evil." (Nina Martyris)
A mother of eight writes in Deseret News about how she avoids 'mealtime battles' and admits to the fact that,
Reading the classics really changed my perspective on kids and eating. Jane Eyre, Little Women, Five Little Peppers, everything by Dickens . . . it's hard to read about children desperate for food, grateful to suck the oil off of some newspaper that used to hold fish n' chips, thrilled with mother's Sunday dinner of boiled tongue, and still have sympathy for a perfectly healthy four year old who turns his nose up at home cooked meals and says he'll only eat chicken nuggets. (Kendra Tierney)
Mrs Kebab's Kindle interviews the author Sarah Michelle Lynch:
What book do you wish you had written ?
Jane Eyre. In part, because it has been voted the greatest book of all time by so many polls and could never be surpassed. It is a book that contains everything; romance, adventure, rags to riches, strife, sadness, everything. I remember reading it as a teenager and staying up until the wee hours to finish it. It’s probably why I am writing today - feeling that feeling a book gives you - and wondering if I could do that for people, too.
The Brontë Society Facebook page recalled yesterday that it was the 194th anniversary of the death of Maria Brontë née Branwell.


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