Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018 11:42 am by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
Jessica Baglow and Michael Peavoy take the lead roles in Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece which opens at the theatre in just under two weeks.
The cast completed their first run through of the play on Tuesday with Michael, who plays the Byronic Rochester, and Jessica, who takes the part of Jane, the revolutionary 19th century heroine, saying audiences will enjoy an epic adaptation of the ‘rich and stunning’ novel.
Jessica said: “They will see an epic tale distilled into a theatre production.
"There is a lot of passion and she is a passionate Jane Eyre, as she is in the book and it is a wonderful ensemble and everybody is amazing in our company."
Michael, who audiences saw take the role of Gilbert Markham in another Brontë classic, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, said: "Rehearsals have gone really well. It is always exciting doing your first run through.
"I think it is really hard to distil a novel that is as rich and epic as it is and its stunning, but what you can’t do is every single page on stage because that’s an audio book, but you really have to condense everything into the principal drama of the story.
"We’ve read the novel so they don’t have to. People should read the book but you don’t have to know the book or have the read the book.
"What we have managed to do and what I think Jess does amazingly is to distil two or three lines of conversation which we have on the script and behind all of that is a chapter’s worth of text and that’s the challenge."
For Jessica playing the part of a great literary heroine was something she could not turn down.
In fact in 2015, director Elizabeth Newman gave her a copy of the book for her birthday, which she has brought to rehearsals.
She said: "It is exciting bit of pressure I suppose. I thought you have to do it because it is Jane Eyre.
"Elizabeth Newman bought me a copy of the book
"I didn’t know then I would play Jane Eyre."
Michael said: "I knew that Jess was playing Jane Eyre we had just done the monologues. I remember watching Jess and just being like on my good god this woman is incredible. The opportunity to work with Elizabeth who I think is the most exceptional director I have worked with and Jess, who was just this incredible fierce performer, I was completely just blown away and I was like put those two together and to give me the opportunity to play someone like Rochester how would you say no. It is what Brontë would have wanted two amazingly strong powerful women fighting the good fight against structure." (Saiqa Chaudhary)
Vogue loves Lily Cole, no doubt about it:
Recently tapped by the Brontë Parsonage Museum and the Brontë Society to help commemorate the author of Wuthering Heights on her 200th birthday, Cole became the center of a minor scandal when one scholar objected to having a model-actress on the committee. Responding with the pluck of one of Brontë’s heroines, Cole penned an essay on the treatment of women in 18th- and 19th-century Britain, silencing her critics in the most elegant manner possible. (Janelle Okwodu)
We love that 'minor scandal' bit.

The Guardian explores disabilities in literature:
Likewise, Bertha Mason, Charlotte Brontë’s “madwoman in the attic” in Jane Eyre, has been read as expressing the outrage of gender- and race-based oppressions, while Rochester, who loses a hand and is blinded at the end of the novel, allows for the exploration of questions of romance and care. (Clare Barker and Stuart Murray)
Denton Record-Chronicle reviews a DVD release of Wuthering Heights 1970:
 There has been so many adaptations of Emily Brontë’s classic tale about unfortunate lovers (Are you noticing a theme in these releases?) that there are bound to be dull versions. The 1970 Robert Fuest-directed film is one such rendering.
Starring 007’s Timothy Dalton and Anna Calder-Marshall as the doomed lovers, Heathcliff and Cathy, this adaptation  plays like those movies you would catch some z’s during in grade school. The cast and crew don’t quite have a firm handle on the material, but there are some shining moments (especially one haunting scene at a graveyard near the film’s end) that give it somewhat of a pulse. (Preston Barta)
Jaume Collet Serra's new film, The Commuter, has some Brontë references:
 As indicated by the reason behind MacCauley’s desperation, there’s a little class commentary at work in The Commuter. It never quite manages to coalesce — none of the overt morals of the film do — in part because the movie is ultimately so singularly about Neeson kicking ass and taking names (and briefly being schooled on the Brontë sisters by an understated Jonathan Banks) that there’s no space for anything else. And that’s just fine. (Karen Han in /Film)
The put-Wuthering-Heights-on-your-pillow initiative is commented on The Irish Times:
In celebration of Emily Brontë’s 200th birthday, the Hand Picked Hotels group is offering guests a special literary-inspired stay. Cosy up in one of their 13 properties across England and enjoy B&B, a seasonal three-course dinner and a copy of Wuthering Heights from €168. Book from now until March 29th at handpickedhotels.co.uk. (Jo Linehan)
The actress and writer Hannah Bryan pens an article in support of the #timesup movement in the Jackson Free Press. She played Jane Eyre as played by Jan Brooks in a recreation of the 1957 performances of The Master of Thornfield (a 1954 Huntington Hartford adaptation) in the Errol Flynn biopic The Last of the Robin Hood 2013:
He broke my heart, and I broke his, but we also helped each other break ground and accomplish big things together. I helped him get into a place where he could finally direct his first feature film, and he helped me with some tough love so that I was finally cast as Jane Eyre. At the time, I hardly believed in myself enough to even get out of the bed to do that audition. But at his insistence, I did so. He made sure my homemade costume and style looked just right. He had me practice my English accent over and over to make sure it sounded accurate.
The Guardian celebrates Mary Shelley on Frankenstein's 200th anniversary:
Notorious in literary circles because of her relationship with Percy, she never enjoyed the freedoms of her slightly younger contemporaries, the Brontës and George Eliot. After Frankenstein, she was not read purely as a writer, but always judged as a woman. (Fiona Sampson)
We wonder what Brontës' freedoms the writer is talking about.

The Imaginative Conservative talks about the TV Series The Crown and recalls an anecdote about the Duke of Windsor:
Meanwhile the Duke of Windsor is revealed for the snobbish, spoiled, conniving, and pusillanimous creep he must have been. He returns to England under the pretense of writing a book. (He was famously boorish, not bookish—remarking to a friend when given Wuthering Heights—“Who are these Brontës? They seem terribly dull.”) In fact, the Duke was not about a book but a hook. He was trying to snare a job as a diplomat and a return to England, convinced that the people would welcome him with open arms. (Dwight Longenecker)
Medium explores the RPF (Real-Person-Fiction) fan fiction world:
Both fanfiction and RPF have always existed in some form. Nearly all of Shakespeare’s historical dramas could be considered fanfiction; the Brontë sisters were thought to have written an elaborate role-playing game based on living soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars. And even before the first internet chat rooms and listservs, fanfiction existed in notebooks and between friends. (Tonya Riley)
Le Devoir (in French) talks about the new Quebec theatre season:
Les oeuvres littéraires ont beaucoup inspiré, contemporaines comme classiques. Avec Hurlevents, Fanny Britt a puisé librement chez Emily Brontë pour créer une comédie dramatique sondant les millénariaux et mise au monde par le directeur du Théâtre Denise-Pelletier, Claude Poissant. (Marie Labrecque) (Translation)
East Journal (in Italian) vindicates the works of Jack London:
Su tutti, c’è un libro porta sulla cattiva strada, ed è il Richiamo della foresta il cui titolo originale, The Call of the Wild, restituisce tutta la potenza di quella chiamata verso un mondo selvaggio che è metafora di libertà. Si tratta di uno dei più importanti romanzi di formazione mai scritti, al pari del Wilhelm Meister di Goethe, del Tom Jones di Fielding, di Jane Eyre della Brontë. (Matteo Zola) (Translation)
A book a day keeps the doctor away (in Spanish) reviews Shirley. Jane Eyre's Library (in Spanish) posts about Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë.

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