Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 10:24 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre is now on stage at the Grand Opera House, York, and The York Press has attended one of the rehearsals and asked some questions to Nadia Clifford and Tim Delap, who play Jane Eyre and Rochester.
"I've visited The Parsonage in Haworth many times: I'm a bit of a Brontë obsessive," says Nadia, who grew up on the other side of the Pennines before training at the Bristol Old Vic.
"When Jane Eyre was on at the National I was in another play there, Pomona, at the same time, which I now feel is a bit of a blessing, as I'm now doing Jane Eyre and working with Sally Cookson is such a treat.
"When I auditioned, Sally works in such a daring way in her auditions. Often directors will see you for 15 minutes, but with Sally she really mines the text and works with you and allows you to feel you can trust the room and perform better."
Nadia made such an impression when performing as Jane Eyre aged ten in the audition that the role was hers. "There are days in rehearsals where the magnitude of the show has hit me. It's exciting; I'm relishing the challenging but it's physically and emotionally demanding, so I have to pace myself," she says.
"It's three hours; I don't leave the stage; I'm the only person on there all the time; all my costume changes are on stage, so it's been a little like an athlete in training."
Working with a movement director and fight director help Nadia prepare for the role, and looking after the voice will be important too. So will the Yorkshire accent. "Because I'm a northerner, I'm aware of the responsibility to get the accent right. For so many people in Yorkshire, they are so proud of Jane Eyre and the Brontës and their legacy," she says.
"It's a very specific way of looking at the world; they were very isolated; London was this distant metropolis and that does have an effect on the authorial voice, which is why the stories have lasted."
Tim Delap, who was last seen on a York stage in Regeneration at the Theatre Royal, now returns to the city in a production with an even more stellar reputation. "I'd heard of Sally's production but not been able to see it, but I'd heard amazing things about it, so when I was asked to audition in front of Sally, I was delighted," he says.
"It was the most intensive audition process I've ever done, with an awful lot of physical work, so it was more like a rehearsal than an audition. It's a very physical show and Rochester is a physical character so she wanted to put me through my paces at several auditions, followed by several pairings and finally with Nadia."
Fitness is vital. "It's like a workout doing this show. I've cycled to and from rehearsals and doing that and the rehearsals is more than enough for keeping in shape," says Tim.
Working on the play has been an eye-opener. "Some people think of Jane Eyre as a girlie book, and I have to admit I hadn't read it until the auditions, but then you realise Jane is not meek and mild; she's fiery and powerful; it's a wonderfully written novel that's thrilling to read and the show reflects all that energy," he says. (Charles Hutchinson)
The Culture Trip is looking forward to the staging of Jane Eyre as a promenade play on June 20-22 at Haddon Hall.
Haddon Hall, the spectacular ancient seat of the Duke of Rutland in England's Peak District, is hosting its own theatre adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic—a unique and immersive experience inside one of the most celebrated Victorian novels. [...]
One can see why Haddon Hall, a country house in the Peak District built between the 11th and 16th centuries, has so often been used to depict it: the manor is as gray-dark and formidable from the outside, and mysterious and rich on the inside, as the novel’s own Thornfield. No less than three productions of Jane Eyre—a 1996 film, a 2006 BBC mini series, and another film in 2011—were shot in Haddon for those very reasons. Readers may also remember the manor for its appearance in The Princess Bride (1987), or in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice.
It should therefore come as no surprise that the Hall is hosting a series of performances sure to delight any Jane Eyre fan—or fans of immersive theatre in general. The Lord and Lady Edward Manners commissioned local writer and former Haddon guide Gillian Shimwell to adapt the novel for the manor itself. The result is an experience quite unlike any other, a journey back in time and inside one of the most influential novels ever written in English.
Add to that the wider delights of the picturesque locale, whether of the Haddon Hall estate (which extends to The Peacock at Rowsley hotel) or the Peak District in general, and you also have an uncommon opportunity to revel in the charms of the English countryside. The next performances will take place on June 20—22, with each ticket including a post-show, three-course meal at the Haddon restaurant. More information here. [...]
The peculiarities of adapting and playing Jane Eyre at Haddon Hall—that is, roaming around an ancient house with the audience immediately around you—presented some novel challenges to the troupe of actors, as well as for writer/director Gillian Shimwell. We spoke with the professionals involved about how these conditions shaped their work, and to what extent the unusual proximity affects the audience. (Simon Leser)
There are also a couple of interesting videos, so don't miss them!

The British Film Institute recommends 10 essential films starring Laurence Olivier. And there's of course
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Director William Wyler

Aghast at how little the 23-year-old Olivier read, Noël Coward gave him Emily Brontë’s gothic masterpiece after casting him on stage in Private Lives (1930). But Olivier had a miserable time playing Heathcliff, as he loathed Merle Oberon and resented director William Wyler refining his stage mannerisms. Ordered to forget boyhood heroes Douglas Fairbanks and John Barrymore, Olivier learned how to work with the camera and channel both his moody arrogance and the knack for switching from charm to fury that he had inherited from his vicar father. He was rewarded with an Oscar nomination and the heartthrob role of Darcy in MGM’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1940). (David Parkinson)
Darling magazine lists '8 Reclusive Female Authors Any Literature Lover Should Read'. Emily Brontë is one of them.
6. Emily Brontë
Despite being born into a remarkable literary family, Emily Brontë carved out a voice and vision entirely her own. Far less interested in fame than alcoholic brother Branwell or ambitious elder sister Charlotte, she spent her time writing poetry, baking and taking long walks across the moors that surrounded the family parsonage. Solitary and intense, Emily’s work reveals a greater sense of kinship with God and nature than with other human beings.
Recommended Work: Wuthering Heights is Brontë’s only novel and if you haven’t read it, you should — really. But if you have, we recommend checking out her poetry. Equal the intensity; half the time. (Kathryn Bradford Heidelberger & Nancy Ritter)
Sydsvenskan (Sweden) features Jean Rhys and, among her other works, Wide Sargasso SeaDaniel Agnew posts about Wuthering Heights. Twitter user @8bitnortherner has managed to recreate the Pillar Portrait in cross-stitch and it's lovely. 'The Brontë Hair Bracelets and Mourning Jewellery' on AnneBrontë.org


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