Thursday, May 11, 2017

Winchester Today reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre as seen at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, giving it 5 stars.
The National Theatre has done it again. Vibrant, frantic and completely gripping, director Sally Cookson and this ferociously talented cast have created a contemporary adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, throughout which the pulse of the timeless story beats. [...]
The physical nature of the whole production is astonishing, many actors never leaving the stage, and others playing multiple characters throughout the three-hour long piece.
Those who have read the novel know that the early chapters take place in Jane Eyre’s childhood, and it’s a testament to this cast that they switch from adult to convincingly-childlike before our eyes. Special mention goes to Paul Mundell for his portrayal of Rochester’s dog, Pilot, whose endearing interludes provide balance to an otherwise intense piece.
Rochester himself is played by Tim Delap, his dynamic performance encompassing Brontë’s conflicted, eccentric character, who many believe represents Brontë’s teacher, whom she loved unrequitedly during her studies in Brussels.
The staging is made up of a series of wooden platforms and iron ladders. This is enhanced by the innovative use of lighting and several simple props, including window frames which hang from the eaves to represent the scale and grandeur of Thornfield Hall. The most well-earned standing ovation I’ve seen for a long time, The National Theatre’s Jane Eyre is physically and emotionally strenuous, and it really shouldn’t be missed. (Beccy Conway)
The Portsmouth News reviews it too and mentions some hiccups encountered during that particular performance.
Brilliantly, the band are as much part of the action as the actors. When not playing, they are avidly involved watching in tight synchronicity, reacting to the story, and also moonlight as bearded young girls in the school Jane is sent to. The real star of the show is multi-role, as the company effortlessly flits from one character set to the next, changing on set, and off, creating the complex cast of characters in a very believable manner, even down to the fully-grown man playing a vigorous puppy. There were more than a few first night teething issues as the cast abruptly left the stage and the band was ushered off by a stage manager. The screen came down and we were left wondering for 10 or so minutes about the cause of the problem – which was never divulged – but certainly indulged by an audience who, in for a three-hour haul, made a judicious use of the bathrooms. The second act didn’t grab as much as the first, and it’s there the realisation came that the emotional resonance wasn’t there. As beautiful and well-produced as the show is, Jane Eyre’s, Rochester’s and Bertha’s fates were of less interest than whether the set would catch alight in the flames. (Zella Compton)
The Duke Family posts about it too.

According to The Times of India, Wuthering Heights is one of '8 unreliable narratives you will never lose interest in!'
This classic by Emily Brontë challenged the stern Victorian beliefs. Though the author was recognized for a powerful imagination, this classic faced a lot of criticism for its bold and unrestrained characters and plot.
Although we don't agree, Shropshire Star thinks that a local property for sale is
described as gothic - the looming tower is at night reminiscent of a Brontë novel, yet by day, appears like something from a classic fairytale. (Jessica Labhart)
Inspired by the new Anne of Green Gables screen adaptation, Independent (Ireland) thinks of other 'old world female heroes for a new millenium', including Helen Graham from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. (May we ask once again why the need for 'female heroes' or 'sheroes' or whatever when we have the word 'heroine', though?). Theresa Smith Writes shares her thoughts on Jane EyreThe Resident Judge of Port Phillip reviews the novel Wild Island, looking carefully into its Jane Eyre references. What's a Lass To Do? posts about a trip to Haworth: part 1 and part 2.


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