Saturday, June 03, 2017

The National Theatre Jane Eyre UK tour gets some more reviews:
I was aware that director Sally Cookson’s interpretation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre was going to be very different from any previous stage versions of the book; it was indeed. It was one of the best adaptations of the novel I’ve ever seen. I only wish there’d been productions like this when I’d studied English literature at school. (...)
Nadia Clifford was outstanding in her portrayal of Jane Eyre, and convincing as the feisty protagonist who knew that in order to thrive she needed to be fed not just physically but emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. Clever use of simple props, soundscape, live music and lighting meant that we empathised completely with her frustration and feelings of being repressed. (Julia Pattison in Pocklington Post)
Recent page-to-stage adaptations have crushed the idea that original plays always trump those based on novels or movies. Nobody has done more to help the cause than Sally Cookson, whose Fellini-inspired La Strada has just settled in at The Other Palace (SW1, to 8 July) and whose wonderfully textured reinvention of Charlotte Brontë’s novel takes up residence in Glasgow this week. It may be a 19th-century novel, but Cookson applies 21st-century theatre techniques. (Lyn Gardner & Judith Mackrell in The Guardian)
The Argus interviews the touring Jane, Nadia Clifford:
For Clifford, coming upon Jane Eyre in her teenage years was a revelatory experience. In another interview she described herself as having a “nerdy fan relationship with the Brontë sisters”.
“The emotions in Charlotte’s writing are so physical you can almost feel them in the pit of your stomach – the way she writes transports you to the eye of the storm of that emotion. Before Jane Eyre I had never realised literature had the power to transform; that you could start reading a novel as one person and finish it as someone slightly different. Now I know that fiction and characters can change you as a person.”
Just as Clifford holds Jane up as a role model she accepts others do the same and this can make for a fairly demanding audience. So far on the tour, though, the National Theatre cast have been given the stamp of approval – not least by the members of the Brontë Society.
“They were all in floods of tears at the end,” laughs Clifford. “If the Brontë mafia enjoy it you must be doing something right. It’s like giving a bottle of wine to a wine connoisseur.” While the actor was “nervous” about the role, because “Jane lives and breathes in the minds of so many people”, she says it’s harmful to let the responsibility get the better of you. “You have to acknowledge that the legacy exists, but, in the same way Janes does, you have to stay true to yourself.” (Edwin Gilson)
CultBox reviews the audiobook The Ninth Doctor Chronicles which includes a Brontë-related story:
A celebrity historical follows in Una McCornack’s ‘The Window on the Moor’ as, now accompanied by Rose, he becomes embroiled in the fate of a feudal city from another dimension which has a direct connection to Emily Brontë. Laura Riseborough is the guest artist here, impressing in dual roles. (Toby Jones & Ian McArdell)
The Jersey Journal reviews the new film version of Daphne du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel:
Roger Michell directs capably, but a little too calmly. Du Maurier was a bit of a wanna-be Bronte at times - there's more of a hint of "Jane Eyre" in "Rebecca" - and Michell too strongly resists the urge to fill the film with erotic thrills and thunderstorms. (Stephen Whitty)
Sarah Shoemaker, author of Mr. Rochester, explains the origins of her novel to Broadway World:
Several years ago, my book group discussed Jane Eyre, and, not surprisingly, the talk drifted to Mr. Rochester, this strange and moody man who is sometimes playful and other times angry, who seems to care for Jane but romances Miss Ingram, and who, it turns out, keeps his insane wife in an upstairs apartment. Who is he, really, and why is Jane attracted to him? Some of the group said, "Sometimes people make big mistakes in love, falling for the wrong person." Others said, "Not Jane; she's too intelligent, too morally grounded, too independent." As the discussion continued in that vein, I finally thought to myself, and then said out loud, "Someone ought to write a book about Mr. Rochester, so that we can understand where he's coming from--what's behind the things he says and does."
Coming home that day, I decided to write that book, to understand for myself what is the basis for Rochester's actions. Easy enough, I thought at the beginning, all I have to do is explain all the years before he meets Jane. Actually, it turned out not so easy after all, for I had not really counted on Rochester's complexities, but I was determined to get to know him and care about him in all his moods. As I wrote, I tried to keep in mind a quote from Charlotte Bronte herself: "without esteem, true love cannot exist." Jane saw something in him, I told myself, and I tried to help the reader, and myself, to see that "something," too.
Telengana Today reviews the Hindi film Dear Maya:
Dear Maya could well be our Charolette (sic)  Brontë from Simla!! She borders on even becoming a Scarlet O Hara with a hurry to change her wardrobe for the man in her life. But finally and credibily she is Maya – a character rarely portrayed in our cinema. (L Ravichander)
Morbo (in Spanish) talks about the music duo Pasaje:
Fantasmas, existencialismo, sensibilidad dark y capas violeta: así comenzó el camino de Pasaje, la agrupación chilena conformada por Vicenta Mendoza y Nicolás Garín Mena, que desde casi un año andan combinando sonidos electrónicos con una melancolía estilizada y un poco retro, de esa que suena mejor cuando hay humo alrededor y te conectas con la letra y sufres un poco, pero sigues bailando, así como en ese video clásico de Kate Bush paraWuthering Heights.
Y tal vez no es muy descabellado compararlos: al fin y al cabo, Bush interpretaba en el famoso clip al espectro de Cathy en la novela gótica de Emily Brontë, y este dúo susurra las aventuras ocultas en sus canciones, perfectas para cantar en medio de fríos bosques o entre quienes conocen la belleza luminosa que una letra triste puede ofrecer. (Mirangie Alayon) (Translation)
El Asombrario & Co (in Spanish) interviews writer Isabel González:
La novela plantea la duda de la locura de Yago que, al mismo tiempo, es particularmente lúcido cuando describe el mundo que le rodea.
Yago está enamorado como estaba Heathcliff en Cumbres borrascosas. Quien se haya enamorado alguna vez así sabrá lo que es.
Harlan Daily Enterprise quotes Charlotte Brontë. The Telegraph & Argus announces a classic car rally near Oakwell Hall. ~ My little old world ~ gardening, home, poetry and everything romantic that makes us dream posts everything we know about Elizabeth Brontë. SarahRoseMcGrath has visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

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