Review - Villette at the West Yorkshire Playhouse - *Review by Richard Wilcocks* Charlotte Brontë’s *Villette*, which was recognised by knowledgeable readers in nineteenth century Brussels as a close parallel...
12 hours ago
Madeleine Worral (Jane) hits the perfect spot: bold enough to convey conviction and intelligence, and sufficiently tender for the audience to become preoccupied with her future. Felix Hayes delivers a rough and attractive Rochester, faithful to the imagination of the Brontë sister. But the rest of the cast continuously change roles, not only playing different characters, but also animals, objects, and even abstract qualities. As free as a children’s game, they are all metaphors of movements, colours, moods and passage of time. One moment, an actor is a burning flame, the next, Eyre’s dear friend, Helen Burns, in her deathbed. The role of Pilot, Rochester’s dog, is enjoyed particularly by the audience, with a rope as a shaking tail that produces many genuine peals of laughter. [...]Express gives it 4 out of 5 stars too.
The length of the play often drags but, in spite of its many risks, this interpretation of Jane Eyre achieves a remarkable adherence to the original story, exploring all its inquiries on gender, class, romance and morality. It takes time to become engaged in its world, but once immersed, the result is compelling and entertaining. There is no attempt at showing the feminist heroine in a pastoral English environment because the concern is with her existential landscape. If this is not theatricality at its best, it gets pretty close, if only by revealing the many possibilities of theatre yet to be discovered. (Alejandra Arrieta)
The book has been filleted cleverly to give the illusion that nothing is missing. The poignant death of Jane’s best friend Helen Burns (Laura Elphinstone, marvellous in five roles) gives her a reason to survive while her initial encounter with Felix Hayes’ rough and vigorous Rochester is spiced with mutual suspicion and attraction. Inventive, moving and at times unexpectedly funny, this is an admirable piece of devised theatre. (Neil Norman)City a.m. gives it 3 out of 5 stars.
Everyone has their own idea of who Jane Eyre is. To some she’s a 19th century feminist, fighting to make her way in the world. To others she’s a doormat, a person to whom interesting things might happen, but not nearly as interesting as the woman in the attic.The Daily Mail reviews the film Miss You Already, though not very enthusiastically (to put it mildly).
I’ve always fallen into the latter camp but Sally Cookson’s production, transferred to the National Theatre after a successful run at Bristol Old Vic, lays its claim fiercely for the first. And it’s convincing. [...]
While I would have liked to have lingered longer on some of Eyre’s other relationships, it is her love for Rochester – played by Felix Hayes as a rakish hipster – that drives the play and leads to a reappraisal of the girl at the heart of it. This is an Eyre of flesh and blood: she might say “yes, sir, no sir”, but it sounds far less dutiful when spoken by Madeleine Worrall than it ever did in the book.
Still, for all the pace and passion I was left wanting more when it came to the infamous Mrs Rochester. We all knew what was coming, but the big reveal felt anticlimactic after all the sinister hints. This is a world in which Jane Eyre really is more interesting than the woman in the attic – I just wish it wasn’t quite so clear-cut. (Catherine Neilan)
Dominic Cooper and Paddy Considine, as the respective husbands, aren’t served a whole lot better and there is a strained Wuthering Heights motif that at one point whisks us from London to the Yorkshire moors; another implausible turn of events. (Brian Viner)The Irish Times reviews the film too and makes a similar comment:
Does all this fit comfortably with, say, the absurd sequence during which they travel north to relive Wuthering Heights? Probably not. (Donald Clarke)Isn't it funny how the first line of Wuthering Heights is actually '1801'? Storypick has selected '10 Arresting First Lines' and though Wuthering Heights is mentioned it doesn't actually make the cut.
Many classics like ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ have banked on the idea of the first line. (Aparajita Mishra)Hampton Roads' High-Def Watch reviews the Blu-ray release of the film The Legacy on which
The prize is the interview with Academy Award winning film editor Coates. She won her Oscar for editing David Lean’s masterpiece, “Lawrence of Arabia,” and has been nominated for “The Elephant Man,” “In the Line of Fire” and “Out of Sight.” She’s enjoyed more than 40 years of work in an industry known for its lack of women in creative positions. But Coates says she never thought of herself as a “woman” in the business, just an editor. She became interested in the work when she saw Laurence Olivier’s “Wuthering Heights.” She had been reading Emily Brontë’s book for school and loved the way the movie brought it to life. Film work looked like something she’d like to do, she says, although she didn’t want to go into traditional female occupations like fashion or make-up. She thought she’d like to be a director, but Coates made her way up as a stellar editor instead. (Kay Reynolds)Los Angeles Times talks to playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and he makes an interesting point:
He recalls an argument he had with a creative writing teacher when he was an undergraduate at Princeton University.Montreal Gazette reports that Ann-Marie MacDonald has been named the first Mordecai Richler writer-in-residence by Concordia.
"When I read books, I didn't read, 'Jane Eyre, comma, white, walked into the room.' So I brought a story to class about two brothers dealing with their mother's illness, thinking this is a universal story, and we talked about it craft-wise, and then there was this weird pause, and the teacher was like, 'I guess my last question is, what race are these people?'
"It became this interesting fight in the room, between the students and the teacher," he said. "That was the first time I realized that there was this expectation being placed on me as a writer who's black. No one else had to explain that their characters were white, but I had to explain that my characters were black because there was an anxiety in the reader that I had to assuage." (Margaret Gray)
MacDonald cited The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz as a formative book; she first read it when she was 14, concurrently with Jane Eyre, and found some parallels between the two.Bwog has located study spaces around Columbia (the American state, not the country), one of which is
“Both Duddy and Jane were shocking and transgressive and got property at the end, on their own terms,” she observed. (Ian McGillis)
1. Rad Red Reading Range (third floor of Diana Center)This is how Indie-eye (Italy) describes Sophie Auster's music:
You may come to the Diana Center for the famous flatbread pizza, but you should stay for the reading area on the third floor. Modern and minimalist, this is an off-the-radar study room for those who “knew about it before it was cool.” Come here to work when you want to feel glamorous despite the Barnard sweats you’re wearing. Just remember that it is a “pull” door when you exit, or you might panic thinking that you are trapped in Jane Eyre’s Red Room, spend fifteen minutes pushing on the door, and wind up late to your next lecture. Not that we would know anything about this, of course.
In una recente intervista per un magazine di questi usa e getta, interessati a classifiche e liste più che alla sostanza, Sophie Auster mette insieme Mule Varations di Tom Waits, il dancefloor di Pretty young thing, la scrittura di Charlotte Brontë, l’arte di Giacometti, il cinema di Truffaut e la marijuana. Una tavolozza ampia, ma che in qualche modo sembra germinare da una relazione elettiva con il passato e con tutto quello che è storicizzabile nei grandi archivi della memoria. (Michele Faggi) (Translation)Frontiersman discusses the 'virtuous lesson' of Jane Eyre. Lady Fancifull reviews Nelly Dean by Alison Case; a nice reddit thread on reading Jane Eyre for the first time.