Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 10:28 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
David Finkle writes in The Huffington Post about several theatrical goings-on in London, including Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre.
Declaring in a program note that she wanted to avoid a treatment becoming "a piece of costume drama," Cookson had set designer Michael Vale construct something resembling a jungle gym, around which the cast members march and quite often climb steps and ladders--mount then too often some observers might contend without encountering heated arguments from others.
From the moment Jane Eyre (Madeleine Worrall) is born and emits a series of harsh wails, Cookson follows her progress as taken in by St. John Reed (Laura Elphinstone) and his Mrs. (Maggie Tagney) through her consignment to Lowood school and the cruel Mr. Brocklehurst (Craig Edwards), to Thornfield and the conflicted Rochester (Felix Hayes) and through the rest of the beloved story of the maltreated young girl's rise to happiness. Cookson keeps things hopping and the actors doubling and tripling as Bronte's memorable characters.
She also keeps things tuneful with musicians (piano, bass, drums) Benji Bower, Will Bower and Phil King supplying all but nonstop underscoring and Melanie Marshall--eventually representing Rochester's sequestered wife Bertha Mason--appearing regularly in a red-satin gown to sing threnodies obliquely coincident with the novel's themes.
At one point to indicate Jane's increasing infatuation with her boss--who's one of literature's foremost brooders, of course--Marshall gives a full-throated rendition of Noel Coward's "Mad About the Boy." This seems gratuitous, as does Rochester's emitting a four-letter obscenity when he falls off his horse at first sighting Jane. (Would Charlotte Brontë have even known the word?) There's also an abundance of ensemble running in place to suggest travel, and that gets old, too.
Nevertheless, the players--the accomplished Worrall and Hayes leading them--are full of vim and vigor as Cookson goes about her program-stated aim of proving Jane Eyre isn't only a 19th-century romance but a work about a woman striving to be recognized as equal in a male-dominated society. She's right, but she has still fashioned an appealingly hyper-theatrical love story.
Another review can be read on Carole Woddis.

Most reviews of John Caird and Paul Gordon's Daddy Long Legs mention their previous collaboration in Jane Eyre the Musical but The New York Times considers
a story that has thematic resonance here. (Alexis Soloski)
Edinburgh News asks actress Sophie Ward about working with his father Simon Ward.
Did you ever work together? “I only got to work with dad twice; for a few screen seconds on a film adaptation of Wuthering Heights and on an episode of Heartbeat, where he kindly came up to Yorkshire to play my dad for an episode.” (Liam Rudden)
And speaking of Yorkshire, The Independent wonders, 'Is the county becoming the Hollywood of the UK?'
The BBC's An Inspector Calls, shown earlier this month, is perhaps an obvious one as it's based on a play by one of Bradford's most famous sons, J B Priestley. But there's also the recent Sunday-night serial Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell; Andrea Arnold's 2011 adaptation of Wuthering Heights; and Bill, the current family comedy by the Horrible Histories team based (very loosely) on Shakespeare's life. (David Barnett)
Bustle has selected '12 Of The Most Inspiring And Empowering Fictional Women Of All Time' and among them is
Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre is a lady who knows exactly how to tell her own story. This novel was revolutionary at the time of publication due to the fact that it was told from the first-person perspective of a female narrator — and a pretty sassy one at that. Despite social convention, Jane is not about to do anything she's not into; especially marry for any reason other than love. Above all, Jane values freedom, independence, and taking care of herself on her own terms. Can't argue with that. (E. Ce Miller)
Nouse has spoken to Victoria Brignell, producer of the BBC Radio 4 programme In Our Time.
Why do you think In Our Time has enjoyed such long term success? I think In Our Time’s longevity is due to three factors. Firstly, we don’t underestimate the intelligence of our audience. We cater for a large number of people who want to listen to a challenging and intellectually stimulating programme. Secondly, we tackle a huge diversity of subjects. To give you a taste of what we offer, this year we have examined Jane Eyre, dark matter, the California Gold Rush and Sappho, to name but a few. (Lewis Hill)
Broadway World has compiled Jimmy Fallon's best recent quotes. This one is from September 22nd:
And last night was the premiere of "Blindspot" on NBC. It's about a woman who wakes up with a bunch of tattoos she can't remember getting. Or as that's also called, "How everyone gets a tattoo." (DRUNK) "I want Heathcliff sitting in a giant martini glass!"
Holland Sentinel features the Holland Chorale:
Bass Derrell Acon received this year’s top prize of $2,000. Acon is a graduate of the Laurence University Conservatory and continues his voice studies as a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. As part of the showcase concert, he sang “Con dal ciel precipata” from "MacBeth" by Gueseppi (sic) Verdi and “Man That is Born of a Woman” from "Wuthering Heights" by Bernard Herrmann.
The Brontë Parsonage and Brontë Society Facebook pages celebrated Elizabeth Gaskell's 205th birthday yesterday. The Brontë Parsonage also shared a video of composer Ailís Ní Ríain performing her new work on the cottage piano in the museum. (Un)conventional Book Reviews posts about Wuthering Heights.


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