Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 2:13 pm by M. in , , , , , , , ,    1 comment
More reviews of the UK tour of Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre:
But this is an ensemble piece and, while I can't not mention by name the gender-bending Evelyn Miller and the staggering vocal talent of Melanie Marshall as a kind of Greek chorus-cum-voice of the poor, tortured soul locked away in the attic, the entire company deserve critical acclaim for their energy and versatility.
And while Charlotte Brontë may never have thought of adding music to help her story along, Benji Bower's score is a rich and haunting asset.
So: a fine piece of creative, contemporary theatre based on a cracking good story that is directed with originality and performed by a very talented company.
What's not to like? (Jude Riley on Befordshire On Sunday)
It’s Jane Eyre, but not as we might know it. Sally Cookson’s powerful adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel is currently on tour around the UK, and deservedly so. Featuring a talented ensemble cast, engaging movement sequences, effective use of simple props, and a rather enthusiastic man-dog (one to be seen rather than explained), here is a fiery and electrifying production that would have made Charlotte proud. (...)
This is simply a beautifully constructed piece of theatre – exciting, intelligent, brisk and absorbing, much like Jane herself. Sally Cookson has done it again. What an exceptionally talented director, with a flair for truly honest theatre. This is exactly the sort of thing that deserves to sell out the cavern of Milton Keynes theatre. Catch it whilst you can. (CarlyH in FemaleArts)
This is Jane Eyre as you’ve never seen her before in a production that rocks – raw, edgy, emotional and unbelievably powerful. (...)
All in all a stunning evening at the theatre which will electrify your senses. Don’t miss it. (Bev Creagh)Stripped down is probably the best way to describe it. So much of the novel’s dialogue is rightly cut out of necessity and so too is its rigid aesthetic. (...)
My verdict was that I was left as unconvinced by a stage adaptation of Jane Eyre as before. But as fan of the novel, I’m glad that I’ve seen it! (Stewart Carr in Luton Today)
Unfortunately some dialogue was lost thanks to the volume of the music while seeing actors get up and walk off stage after supposedly dying seemed a little clumsy. Musically I was left rather confused for it all seemed rather disjointed and it added little to the storyline. In fact I simply couldn't see that there was any need for music at all, apart from the pre-recorded stuff which brought us rain and thunder. Also seeing actors dashing around the stage willy nilly and running up and down ladders, had director Ms Cookson taken an eraser to her script, then she could easily have trimmed Jane Eyre down to a little over two hours instead of three. (Alan Wooding in MKCitizen)
Co.Design analyses the findings of this article in the New York Times which investigated the word choices in Jane Austen's novels as compared to other contemporary or non-English authors, including the Brontë novels.
For instance, Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë’s classic story of love and revenge, sits near the middle but skews slightly toward the top and right of the graph. That indicates that it contains words that are both physical and about emotions, though it also is still in the realm of medieval words, with their darker and more violent and dramatic qualities.
Compared to Wuthering Heights, Austen’s books appear as more modest dramas. But as Katz and Flynn’s written analysis of the data points out, just because Austen was subtler doesn’t mean she didn’t grapple with subjects like love, passion, and complex, contradictory characters. (Meg Miller)
You can see on the graph that Wuthering Heights sits more or less in the same place that Jane Eyre (the novel by Charlotte which is slightly more physical and less emotional). It's surprising, though, to see both Anne Brontë's novels much less physical and clearly more concerned with emotions and time.

Harper's Bazaar recommends books for your bookshelf on Amazon's Prime Day:
'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Brontë
"I find myself returning to the comfort of the Brontës, from Anne's Agnes Grey to Emily's Wuthering Heights, more than any other classics, but it's Charlotte's quiet, willful Jane Eyre who inspires and captivates me in new ways with each re-read." —Julie Kosin, Senior Digital Social and Culture Editor
San Diego Jewish Journal reviews the Withering Heights performances in the city:
The Roustabouts’ production of “Withering Heights” is an exercise in how many characters two men can play. The answer is more than I can count, but I don’t care because I’m laughing. (...)
For those who never read the novel, Johnson and Schein’s comedy gets the message across. (I’ve never read the book, but had no problem following the jokes.)
If you go into the play knowing 18th century Yorkshire was filled with a lot of death, disease, cruelty and sexual repression, you’ll get the jokes. (I know it sounds like a great foundation for a comedy, but it is.)
If you enjoy literature, satire or just solidly good jokes, “Withering Heights” is a good bet for an enjoyable evening. (Brie Stimson)
The Guardian begins a story about Philippa York like this:
Ellis, Acton, and Currer Bell. Robert Galbraith. George Eliot. Since Charlotte Brontë declared that she and her sisters “had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice,” talented women writers have chosen to use a male pseudonym. (Suze Clemitson)
Lancashire Telegraph recommends a walk around Rochdale:
Another local connection is a Rochdale lad called James Kay.
He founded the first teacher training college in England, St Mark’s in Chelsea.
He married the heiress of the Shuttleworth family and the couple made their home in Padiham in Victorian times and Charlotte Brontë frequently visited them in Gawthorpe Hall. (Ron Freethy)
Vogue Spain talks about J.K. Rowling's pseudonym. Regrettably, the choice of the Brontës as an example is full of errors that SHOULD have been checked before publishing:
No ha llovido tanto desde que Charlotte Brontë tuviera que publicar Jayne Eyre (SIC) y otras de sus novelas bajo el sobrenombre de Currer Bell, al menos en términos de mentalidad, si la británica se vio forzada a esconder su género por imposición de sus editores (!!!!!). Han pasado casi dos siglos y, sin embargo, el paralelismo entre ambas mujeres resulta abrumador. (Ana Poyo) (Translation)
Manga-news (France) reviews Trisagion Vol.1 ( Bancha Shibano & Shiki Mizuchi ):
On peut quand même bien s'amuser à rechercher les différentes références que le scénariste glisse. Par exemple, Heathcliff, le marquis des goules dans le manga, est une référence à un personnage du roman Les Hauts de Hurlevent, et son repaire se nomme "Arashi gaoka" qui est le nom japonais du célèbre roman d'Emily Brontë. (Translation)
According to El Telégrafo (Ecuador) the artist Moisés Yunga loves the Brontës.  The Weekly Review reminds us that The Most Wuthering Heights Day is coming again. Library Summer Reading Program reviews Villette. Eticamente (Italy) uses the Brontës as an example of famous women being homeschooled (as if it had been much of an option back then). Research English at Durham has a blog post presenting the upcoming conference The Coarseness of the Brontës: A Reappraisal on 10th-11th August.

1 comment:

  1. My review of the Jane Eyre play is here: