Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Wednesday, June 07, 2017 11:17 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Today marks the 156th anniversary of Patrick Brontë. He summed it all up so well:
Had I been numbered amongst the calm, concentric men of the world, I should not have been as I now am, and I should in all probability never have had such children as mine have been.
Broadway World reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre as seen at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
Nadia Clifford is an outstanding Jane Eyre, perfectly capturing her headstrong nature at age ten and throughout adulthood. A cast of seven play a variety of roles, from grown men playing young girls to playing sheep and best of all, a dog. Pilot the dog provides a bit of light relief in an otherwise mostly dark tale. Lynda Rooke is well cast as both the cruel Mrs Reed and the kindly Mrs Fairfax, switching between the two very different roles with ease.
There's a lot to cram into the play and running just over three hours it feels a little indulgent at times. There's a lot of story to get through and while it looks beautiful, there are scenes that I feel could have been condensed slightly. Aideen Malone's lighting design is astonishing and plays a vital part in the production. Dominic Bilkey's sound design was also pivotal, with voice overs and music highlighting to the gothic nature of the play.
The simplistic nature of this staging makes it all the more impressive. There are no changes of scenery, very little in the way of costume changes and the different roles played by the cast really spark the imagination. While it was written 170 years ago this production feels incredibly fresh and it is well worth seeing. (Natalie O'Donoghue)
The Reviews Hub gives it 5 stars and sums it up as 'a triumph'.
Sally Cookson’s iridescent production captures the simmering tension, passion, determination and sheer grit at the heart of Jane Eyre. Its simultaneous ebbs and flows of the ‘good’ and balanced behaviour expected of Jane and the fury she emanates in the face of seemingly endless injustice are immensely moving. Meanwhile Jane’s furious pursuit of the most basic independence is a gut-wrenching rallying cry for female emancipation that still feels shamefully relevant today.
Cookson’s direction has Jane zealously rebel – both verbally and physically – against the authoritarian figures that dominate her life and keep her within the confines she was born to. Yet in a cruel but clever dramatic demonstration of Jane’s enforced captivity, her strength of spirit and overwhelming fervour aren’t enough to change her station. [...]
Nadia Clifford’s performance as Jane is captivating. Rent with raw emotion, stirring real tears from the audience and actors alike, she conveys Jane’s frustration with her lot in life with every exasperated breath. Her depth of feeling is clear in every syllable, rounded with intent, and her outbursts crackle with a fierce energy.
The challenging Mr Rochester is played by Tim Delap with a beguiling charm perfectly befitting the brusque yet primitively romantic figure; while Melanie Marshall manipulates mystery, intense loyalty and the desolate fog of mental illness to tremendous and eerie effect as Bertha Mason.
The whole company’s versatility is astounding, with a cast of just ten actors and musicians taking on multiple roles and a miniscule change of costume or immediate switch in dialect often the only indicator. Despite almost no off-stage time, every transition is faultless and each new character precise.
Hannah Bristow’s evolution from tragic Helen Burns to effervescent Adele, and finally to restrained and reasoned Diana Rivers is stand-out; while Evelyn Miller demonstrates equal skill in portraying down to earth maid Bessie, accomplished society bride-to-be Blanche and devoted missionary St John.
Benji Bower’s musical combination of soulful, spooky compositions with clashing chords that build to crashing crescendos creates an atmosphere that’s electric with anticipation throughout. Meanwhile the clever weaving together of sound and movement in desperate bangs and thumps echoes Jane’s dogged resolve to escape the confines of her sex and status.
Michael Vale’s stark, multi-level set of bare wood and metal bar echoes Jane’s austere existence. It’s also is masterfully crafted as a continuous obstacle for her to overcome – from seeking a refuge from childhood torment to negotiating the sinister third floor at Mr Rochester’s Thornfield Hall. Meanwhile Aideen Malone’s vivid lighting inspires passions equal to Jane’s as it snaps from severe grey to blistering red in an instant, mirroring the heroine’s internalised turmoil bubbling over into justified rage.
Cookson’s dynamic production consumes any preconceptions of the favourite period drama in the fierce lick of its sharp wit and visionary staging. The brave and unusual retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s epic tale is a triumph – smouldering with pioneering spirit and sizzling with raw emotion. (Harriet Brace)
Another take of Jane Eyre on stage is nominated to an award, as The Stage reports:
The annual South Bank Sky Arts Awards celebrate categories including theatre, dance, opera, TV drama and comedy, as well as pop and classical music, literature, visual art and film. [...]
In dance, Akram Khan’s Giselle, Richard Alston Dance Company’s An Italian in Madrid and Northern Ballet’s Jane Eyre are nominated. (Tim Bano)
Jane Eyre is one of '10 must-read second novels' selected by BBC Radio 4's Books at Bedtime.
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë (1847)
If “Pride and Prejudice” is the pinnacle of Romantic Comedy, then “Jane Eyre” can certainly be nominated for the coveted title of Greatest Love Story Ever Written. It was actually Charlotte Brontë's second novel, but the first to be published, her earlier effort being “The Professor” which did not appear in print until much later.
One of the most passionate novels of all time, it was regarded as revolutionary on its publication due to its heroine's conscious awakening, her thoughts and feelings becoming the focus of the narrative.
Jane is morally conservative, but the book deals with more radical notions including sexuality, religion and proto-feminism due to the nature of her fierce spiritual outlook, which is consistently at its core, driving the novel's questioning and searching tone.
Finding love and attaining happiness with the Byronic Mr Rochester is the crux of the tale, and there is a fair amount of hand- wringing heartbreak along the way.
The Scotsman reviews the book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.
Eleanor reads Jane Austen (and the Brontës) and gradually one realises that this is essentially a variation on an Austen novel. Austen’s subject was always the moral education of her heroine, an education which teaches her to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and so to bring her to a true understanding of her own nature and relationship to other people. No Austen heroine is, of course, as severely damaged as Eleanor, but all of them begin by misunderstanding their own nature and capabilities and by getting other people wrong. They learn to put away pride and prejudice and to prefer sense to sensibility, so that eventually they see themselves and other people as they truly are. (Allan Massie)
Splash Report is not so spot-on in its description of the new film adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel as
a mystery/romance in the Victorian tradition of Emily Brontë and Jane Austen, but with the darker twist that characterizes Du Maurier’s work. (J. Don Birnam)
'The Victorian tradition of Emily Brontë and Jane Austen' - how remarkable.

The Yorkshire Post features the new Yorkshire Lass Gin.
Having spent the last 30 years in Brontë country Samantha [Long] decided to name her company after the literary sisters. Even the label of her first gin includes text from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.
“I did have to get some legal advice as there is another company producing a Brontë liqueur,” says Samantha who launched her Yorkshire Lass’ Gin at the Haworth Old Hall Gin Festival on May 26. [...]
Samantha many only just have launched her gin but she is in the process of creating her second product the Spirits of Bronte Drinks Company range.
“I can’t say too much about it but it will be a flavoured gin.” (Catherine Scott)

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