Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017 12:03 pm by M. in , , , ,    No comments
We have a couple of reviews of the Milwaukee performances of Polly Teale's Jane Eyre. A positive one:
In the Polly Teale adaptation being staged here, Margaret Ivey’s Jane and Rin Allen’s Bertha had once been boon companions.  Initially dressed in red, Bertha shadows the more austerely dressed Jane, while embodying the lithe, free-spirited side of herself that Jane gradually learns to tamp down. It is Jane who first locks Bertha away, in a world where women are rendered invisible.
As she paces the red room, Allen gives big, full-throttled expression to all that the corseted Jane cannot.  Harrowing as a sometimes straitjacketed mad woman, Allen can also be beautiful as she joyfully embodies Jane’s passion, channeling Peter Kyle’s striking movement choreography.
For all that, I’ll admit there were times I forgot Allen was perched above me; that’s the point.  Along with Ivey’s Jane, I instead found myself caught up in the busy nothings of the conscious world, brought to life by an ensemble of eight additional actors playing dozens of characters as well as animals. (...)
 [The set] It also allows Kyle’s movement choreography the room it needs to capture the tension between a corseted stillness and the wildly gyrating emotion such stillness conceals.  In the closing moments of Act I, we get a particularly fine example of the payoff, involving a joyous Bertha embodying the new love between Jane and Rochester.  I won’t give it away; but you’ll know it when you see it.  It’s breathtakingly beautiful. (...)
[Jane] Shaw’s supremely intelligent music and sound design is a huge, very moving plus to this production.  Like Healy’s costuming, it marks a transitional moment within England, between a largely rural and often evangelical past and a more romantic and individualized future – true to a Jane caught between duty and desire; tradition and freedom; classical proportion and romantic inclination; and communitarian impulses and individualized expression. (Mike Fischer in The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel)
And a negative one on the best tradition of keep-it-simple because... you know, thinking and all that elitist crap:
In preparation for the production, the theater company has provided all kinds of supporting information about the novel, about Brontë, about Jane, about the other characters in the book and about the time period of the novel.
That is where my problem arose with this production. It's almost as if the artistic team learned and knew too much about this story and forgot that, for most of us, this should be a slightly over two-hour journey told with clarity and thought.
It's obvious a lot of thought went into this production, but the clarity part seemed to be missing, almost on purpose. (...)
Some of the choices don't really seem to be of much service to the story either. The set design is cold and brittle, offering not a single glimpse of the opulence of Victorian England. There are gimmicks, like having actors portray horses pulling a carriage or pet puppies. They are distracting to say the least.
It's almost as if this production is too precious, to cute for its own good. It's like the story can't find it's way out from under the weight of all this production. (Dave Begel in OnMilwaukee)
The radio station WISN-ABC also presents the production.

The Guardian, guess what? It also mentions Wuthering Heights 2011 in a review of the Lady Macbeth film by William Oldroyd:
Early scenes of Katherine’s escape from confinement on to misty moors have the same Brontë-esque lust for life that Andrea Arnold captured in her 2011 adaptation of Wuthering Heights. (Mark Kermode)
And the Daily Mail cannot avoid the Brontë temptation:
William Oldroyd’s new film – his debut feature, in fact – may be called Lady Macbeth but for the opening half-hour it seems more like a cross between Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Wuthering Heights as the newly married but instantly rejected Katherine (Florence Pugh) finds the customary consolation in the arms of her husband’s ruggedly handsome new groomsman, Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis). (Matthew Bond)
And neither can The Sunday Herald:
Its combination of rough manners, wild landscape and sex suggests a meeting of Wuthering Heights with Lady Chatterley’s Lover, but spiced with a female character more compelling and morally challenging than either of those novels offers. (Demetrios Matheou)
Third Coast Review posts about the film Voice from the Stone by Eric D. Howell:
The problem is that the movie feels like third-rate Jane Eyre, as it allows the low rumbles of romance between Verena and Klaus take over the far more interesting story of what is going on with Jakob and whether a dead woman is speaking to him and perhaps others in the house. (Steve Prokopy)
Villains, good and evil in literature are discussed in The Huffington Post-Australia:
While Charlotte Brontë might be sympathetic to Mr Rochester, her book is riddled with characters whose meanness to the orphan, Jane, remains unjustified. (Fleur Morrison)
The Irish Independent lists some scenic road trips in Ireland:
Head north here to see the poet’s grave at Drumcliff (“Cast a cold eye...”) and, if time permits, take a spin around Mullaghmore for Wuthering Heights-style views of Classiebawn Castle, before detouring inland towards the epic Gleniff Horseshoe and Benwiskin. (Pól Ó Conghaile)
The love life of the French politician Emmanuelle Macron is discussed in Elle:
His parents sent him to Paris to keep them apart like he was Catherine in Wuthering Heights, but like the Phantom and Christine in Love Never Dies, they found their way back to each other. Now they're married and while they don't have any plans to have kids, Macron is step-grandfather to seven children. (R. Erich Thomas)
The author Johanne Lykke Holm says in Dagens Nyheter:
Jag hade en Anna Karenina-fas och en Heathcliff-fas. Jag gjorde mig till bild. Jag låg och läste utsträckt på golvet om natten. Jag satt och läste i fönsterkarmen i mitt flickrum i gryningen. (Translation)
Diario de Colima (México) reports a local marathon reading which featured, among many others, Emily Brontë.

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