Sunday, October 04, 2015

Natasha Tripney in The Stage talks about recent theatre adaptations of novels. The recent Sally Cookson Jane Eyre adaptation is one of them:
Reader, I loved it. Sally Cookson’s adaptation of Jane Eyre for the National Theatre is a thing of riches.
First staged at Bristol Old Vic as an epic four-hour, two-part staging last year, it is now presented in London in an only relatively condensed version.
Unlike recent screen adaptations, including Cary Fukunaga’s elegant 2011 film, scripted by Moira Buffini, it grasps that Jane Eyre is so much more than just a love story, and that one of the chief pleasures of the novel is in seeing Jane grow up and grow into herself, in seeing her survive the terrors of the red room, her bleak treatment at Lowood, the death of her school friend, Helen Burns, and emerge stronger and more self-reliant as a result: a woman of will.
One of the reasons why Cookson’s adaptation works as well as it does is that the recreation of these scenes from Jane’s childhood never feels slavish. They are vital to the world the production is building and, crucially, they are suffused with a sense of the theatrical. Cookson manages to be faithful to the novel in so many ways, while making something which is, first and foremost, a piece of theatre.
She has made a playground of the stage, with Michael Vale’s set comprising a collection of platforms and ladders, suggesting rather than recreating Thornfield’s treacherous rooftops and dark attic spaces. And though her production does tread some of the same thematic ground as Polly Teale’s version for Shared Experience some years back, which twinned Jane with Rochester’s first wife, Bertha Mason, it’s arguably lighter on its feet and more playful in its approach, containing some truly audacious moments: most notably Melanie Marshall, as Bertha, bold in her red silk dress, singing Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, her voice exuding power and emotional nuance.
The Guardian explores strong female leading roles on the London stage:
Liz Hoggard, journalist and author: I agree the West End is full of plum roles for women – but can’t help noticing how many are based on classic roles or storylines that audiences already feel comfortable with – in Gypsy, Medea, Jane Eyre,Nell Gwynn, Tipping the Velvet (although, refreshingly, many of these shows are adapted by, or devised by, women).
Kent Online announces the upcoming performances of the Northern Ballet's Wuthering Heights production in Canterbury (October 6-10):
“Wuthering Heights is not a novel that you read and put back on the shelf,” David Nixon said.
“It is a story that absorbs you, creating powerful imagery that stays with you long after you turn the last page.
"In my adaptation of this timeless tale, I have brought to life the key elements of the narrative, focusing on the intensity and devastation of the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff.” (Angela Cole)
Ian McKellen explores Yorkshire writers in the Yorkshire Post:
So for people who gaze out onto moors and wild cloudscapes, the Brontë sisters are the ones; if you used to have the view of a mill-scape from your kitchen door then JB Priestley tells it how it is, but if you’re from South Yorkshire in general and Barnsley in particular then A Kestrel for a Knave is the book for you, as it is the book for me.
And... well, we have a Kardashian (Kourtney) quoting Anne Brontë on instagram. Via The Mirror:
The star did seem in a reflective mood on Thursday though, as she posting an Anne Bronte tweet on Instagram as she headed to bed alone.
She wrote: "I love the silent hour of night, For blissful dreams may then arise, Revealing to my charmed sight, What may not bless my waking eyes."
The poem quoted is Night (1845).

The Sunday Times reviews We British. An Epic in Poetry by Andrew Marr:
Ann Duffy on the beauties of Scottish independence; or mediocre verse by the Protestant martyr Anne Askew. Chidiock Tichborne’s Elegy is a far better memorial to Tudor state savagery. Yet while understandably wanting to find more female poets, Marr completely ignores Emily Brontë. (Christopher Hart)
After the New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, the Clarion-Ledger concludes:
I don’t know about parasols, cloaks or corsets, but if you want to be on trend these coming wintry months, take your cues from these fashion giants and “Jane Eyre.” (David Creel)
BT recommends a hurricane lamp for your garden:
Alternatively, an inexpensive hurricane lamp will give you a cheap portable light source whatever the weather is like – with the added bonus that you can pretend to be a character in Wuthering Heights. (Tim Guest)
The Huffington Post talks about a 1928 self-help book, Herbert N Carson's Getting Over Difficulties:
“Readers will always appreciate wise and insightful writing, no matter when it was written? The classics of literature bear this out. Many of us still dip into Tolstoy and the Brontes to unravel these pressing questions. I think the earliest personal development book was written by the Ancient Greek Hesiod. And many of the Greek philosophers, such as Socrates or the Stoics, could be also be classified today as self-help writers.” (Katerina Cosgrove quoted by Libby-Jane Charleston)
The Irish Independent describes Michael Fassbender's role in Jane Eyre 2011 as 'a thunderous Rochester'. Business Standard describes the Thursday Next universe, including The Eyre Affair. Another cover of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights in a talent show, this time the Danish Voice Junior. Today (11:00 AM) on Sky Drama, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall 1996. The Gingerbread House reviews the upcoming The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay. The Sisters' Room (in Italian) interviews the Brontë scholar Maddalena De Leo.

Diário Catarinense (Brazil) reviews Henry Miller's The Books in My Life:
Quem escreve tudo isso é o Henry Miller de 60 anos, já autor de Trópico de Câncer,Trópico de Capricórnio, Sexus e outros. Miller leu muitos clássicos – não faltam referências tão conhecidas quanto Nietzsche, Proust, Conrad, Emily Brontë, Jonathan Swift – e confessadamente apelou a alguns deles para moldar a sua escrita. (Thiago Momm) (Translation)

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