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The difficulty in conveying the character of Jane Eyre would, one might assume, lie in expounding the orphan’s very sophisticated mental battles and the emotional distress caused first by her cruel aunt and cousins at home, then at the severe Lowood Institution, and subsequently when she becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall where she falls in love with her employer, Mr Rochester, only to have her wedding ambushed by his terrifyingly troubled wife, ruining all of Jane’s hopes of happiness and causing her to run away. Choreographer Cathy Marston employs the help of a group of pallidly dressed male dancers to represent Jane’s inner demons. This trick seems gratuitous when we fist meet Jane in the prologue, fleeing across the moors in the wake of her shambolic nuptials, but it soon transpires to be a useful device for physicalizing the twists and turns and constant wrangling inside her head, which are articulated so fulsomely in the book. The men trip her up, get in her way and very forcefully grapple with her – their exchanges are robustly physical and this depiction of Jane’s turmoil ends up being hugely effective, even if the concept takes some getting used to.The Bardford Review interviews writer Michael Stewart.
At the Richmond Theatre during the London leg of this national tour, Dreda Blow’s entrance as Jane in said prologue was underwhelming to say the least, the dancer seeming to lack intent and thus making the scene difficult to get on board with. Luckily, she picked herself up – and then some – whilst waiting backstage for Antoinette Brooks-Daw to take her turn as the younger incarnation. After we had backtracked to tell the whole story from the beginning, Blow returned refreshed, as a composed yet forthright young governess, displaying nuance, maturity and beautiful lyricism. The tag-team between Blow and Brooks-Daw worked a treat, the latter imbuing the youngster with real force as you felt her boiling indignation at such brazen and consistent mistreatment by those around her. The way that Brooks-Daw had to temper her emotions flowed seamlessly into the grown-up Jane, much aided by Marston’s boldly designed moves that blend markedly modern angularity with more classical romanticism. (...)
Loyal Jane Eyre fans have nothing to fear in this new work, which is sensitive yet dynamic, and innovative whilst remaining true to the original. Let’s hope we see many a repeat of it in the Northern Ballet’s future. (Rachel Fellows)
Did you get a sense that Bradford is a place of historic creativity, perhaps more so than other cities of a similar size? Well I moved into a place that was virtually opposite the birthplace of the Brontës and the Brontë sisters had a huge influence on me. One of the first things I ever got into as a kid was Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush. I got my first tape recorder in 1978 and filled a C-60 with that song. I was obsessed by the song. I had no idea it was a book by Emily Brontë. Then my mother gave me the book and I was seven years old and I didn’t get very far with it, but then I came back to it as a teenager and it blew me away. (Tim Walker)Northwestern quotes the words of 'Thomas Bradshaw, associate professor of radio/television/film at the School of Communication, was a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2010 Prince Charitable Trust Prize awardee and a featured playwright in Time Out New York’s 10 playwrights to watch' at a recent panel discussion on why the Arts matter.
“Wuthering Heights,” he said, is the reason he writes. “I read this novel, written around 1836 [sic], and expected it to be the most boring thing in the world, but Emily Brontë made me think if this is what writing can do, then I want to be a writer.”Den of Geek! lists '8 powerfully effective voice-overs in modern movies' and one of them is The Grand Budapest Hotel.
“It captured the breadth and depth of human emotion in a way that was almost illogical but was completely logical to me. I deeply relate to the character of Heathcliff. I don’t know what that says about me,” Bradshaw joked. Then he spoke of Heathcliff’s devotion to the woman he loved.
“His most fervent wish for when he dies is that they have two coffins next to each other, and they knock out the sides so their bones can intermingle and blend with each other -- that’s true love! Often in art, we set up strict parameters for human emotion and human behavior, and Emily Brontë just broke out of all of that,” he said.
It’s easy to miss on first viewing, but The Grand Budapest Hotel is, not unlike Wuthering Heights, a story within a story within a story. (Ryan Lambie)Financial Times explores country life in England.
They will need support groups because, like all great loves, the country in England is not always easy or good-humoured. It needs persistence and personal grit when the rains sweep across it in dark November and, for the sixth weekend in a row, there is not a sign of sun. It is a challenge, not an idyll, but like life itself, it is better for it. Those weeks of Wuthering Heights enhance the months in which it is very heaven to be Far from the Madding Crowd. (Robin Lane Fox)Past Offences reviews Robert Barnard's The Case of the Missing Brontë.