Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Keighley News reports that there was a major power cut yesterday in the Haworth area and the Brontë Parsonage Museum, among others, was affected by it:
Brontë Parsonage Museum this morning tweeted that they had been forced to close temporarily due to the lack of electricity in the village’s tourist heartland. (David Knights)
As seen on its Twitter and Facebook timelines, the museum was back open again a few hours later after 'essential system checks'.

One and Other reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre.
Nadia Clifford is stunning in the role of Jane, transformed from a child to the adult Jane when she is helped into her corset and dress on stage by other cast members. The production is an ensemble piece performed seamlessly by seven actors and three musicians. Except for Jane, all play more than one part and are all on stage most of the time.
The stripped down, minimal set designed by Michael Vale is comprised of an enormous wooden structure, almost like a child’s play park climbing frame with various ramps and ladders. The actors move all over it with a choreographed, dancelike grace, as the director puts it, "perform[ing] and illustrat[ing] the physical and emotional struggle Jane encounters as she develops from a child into an independent woman." The set is surrounded by white curtains, used to great effect by changing colour and film projection. Dramatic use of real fire is stunning.
At the centre of the stage underneath the towering wooden platform are the musicians, making the band a central and intrinsic part of the production. Composer Benji Bower uses many genres including folk, Jazz, sacred, orchestral and pop to create Jane’s World.
Bertha Mason (Melanie Marshall) is dressed in bright red, contrasting with the muted colours worn by the rest of the ensemble. She is always alone, gliding around the set and illustrating with song the life of Jane, very much part of the story but running parallel to it as opposed to with it. Hidden in plain sight as in the book, Melanie Marshall as Bertha is subtly imposing: she doesn’t speak but uses her remarkable singing voice to outstanding effect.
This touring production was originally shown over two nights, then stripped back to three hours (including an interval). Sometimes the telling of Jane’s story jumps a little clumsily from one event to another, probably because of the necessary edits to get the majority of the book in: a small point as the overall pace and enjoyment is very much there.
The whole cast are phenomenal, their energy breathtaking. To climb ladders for three hours is no mean feat, everyone moving with perceived effortlessness with such smoothness and elegance. A truly remarkable performance and production. (Julia Parry)
It all boils down to one thing for Cosmopolitan as it lists 'The 16 Biggest F*ckboys of Literature', including
2. Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. Yeah, yeah, Jane and Rochester have a beautiful love story, if you ignore the part where he lies about being previously married and hiding his wife in the attic of his house. His solution when she *shocker* finds out? Asking her to live in France with him even though they can’t get married. Jane, girl. You deserve better. [...]
12. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. Sure, he’s gone through some stuff re: the whole not being able to marry the woman he loves because of his status thing, but marrying a woman and then forcing their son to marry Cathy’s daughter purely for the sake of revenge is a very elaborate fuckboy move. (Julia Pugachevsky)
There was a time when we thought that talking about books was always a good thing. Now we're not so sure.

Elle (India) takes a better approach by listing their favourite fictional heroines (as opposed to Disney princesses).
While there’s still a long way to go before Disney princesses can be appointed the face of feminism in mainstream culture, there have been several fictional characters who are perfect for the role. From Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger to Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennet, here are some of our favourites. [...]
Jane, Jane Eyre
‘Ahead of her time’ is a common compliment for any Victorian heroine with even a hint of a spine, but it’s perfectly apt for Jane Eyre. To understand the brilliance of Jane’s character, you need to put it in the context of the era she was created in. This was a time when women rarely had agency over their own lives. To rebel against societal conventions and assert her independence despite the hardships she endured makes Jane one of the strongest literary characters ever created.
What she taught us: Never let anyone else take control of your life. (Salva Mubarak)
A review of the play Can You Forgive Her? by Gina Gionfriddo in The New York Times begins as follows:
Feisty women trying to jump class are so 19th century; I’m looking at you, Jane Eyre. And so 20th century, too: Have you met Sister Carrie?
For the playwright Gina Gionfriddo, such characters are all too 21st century as well. Many of her plays, including the Pulitzer Prize finalists “Becky Shaw” and “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” feature heroines trying to escape the social immobility that locks them into dreary lives. (Jesse Green)
Deadline reviews it too but mentions another Brontë heroine:
The coincidences beggar the imagination, and it’s important to remember that while unlikely plot twists and turns may have been the forte of Anthony Trollope (whose novel gives the play its name) and Charles Dickens, the women novelists of that time were more inclined to weave romance from ordinary yarns. It was, after all, Charlotte Brontë’s near-forgotten heroine Shirley Keeldar who begins her ur-feminist tale with the memorable promise of “something unromantic as Monday morning.” (Jeremy Gerard)
Saga interviews writer Julian Fellowes, whose musical based on The Wind in the Willows opens in London in June.
Which books wouldn’t work as a musical? I don’t know. I could say Wuthering Heights, or something. Not because I think it’s depressing. It’s my favourite book. But I think it’s complete, if you know what I mean. It doesn’t need to become a film, although they’ve tried it many times. It doesn’t need to become a TV series or a musical. It is what it is. A complete experience.
However, I can give you all that guff and next year someone might do a musical about it called The Yorkshire Moors, or something, and we’ll all go and it’ll be fabulous.
I don’t think there are absolutes. Always remember the old quotation: nobody knows anything. Every year someone does something that everyone swore could never be done, and away we go. How many times have we been told the film musical is dead and here we are bouncing down the aisles to La La Land. (Simon Hemelryk)
Another fan of Wuthering Heights is children’s author Tom Palmer. From the Yorkshire Evening Post:
Tom Palmer’s latest book - Killing Ground - is set in Halifax and concerns a haunting at The Shay Stadium, which leads to an Anglo-Saxon Viking conflict. “I wanted to write about history, and a haunting with ghosts. I researched Anglo-Saxon settlements, visited The Shay and visited a settlement they recreated in Norfolk. Plus I wanted to set it in Halifax. When I read Wuthering Heights when I was 19 it amazed me that a classic like that was set around where I grew up - books about your home town make them more interesting.
Newsday features a Bellport house for sale:
Splashes of Tinseltown — including a statue from the 1939 film adaptation of “Wuthering Heights” — were incorporated into the renovation of this circa-1920 Bellport Village Colonial listed for $1.695 million. (Danny Schrafel)
Here's how SyFyWire describes the 1985 film The Bride:
The Bride is a deeply bizarre film. It's as if a dark wave fan in the '80s watched Dune and the "Wuthering Heights" music video too fast while suffering a fever. (Clare McBride)
The daughter of one of the first dad bloggers writes on Romper about how it has affected her.
For the most part, I liked reading about myself, or at least the version of myself my father chose to portray — an unpaid, unscripted character in our family's domestic drama. My persona changed from column to column: sometimes I was a pint-size spitfire showing up the adults with my clever quips, other times I was a gracious yet endlessly put-upon player in events beyond my control. I was half Stephanie Tanner, half Jane Eyre. (Claire Shefchik)
Entertainment Weekly and others alert to the fact that Jane Eyre is leaving Netflix on June 16. The Brussels Brontë Blog reports that the Brontë plaque on 'Bozar' has been thoroughly cleaned and is much more visible and readable now.

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