Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Chronicle Live reviews Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre as seen at Newcastle Theatre Royal and gives it 4 out of 5 stars.
This is of course when the tale goes fully Goth - they live in a Gothic manor, Rochester is very Byronic and there’s even a lunatic in the attic - Rochester’s wife, Bertha.
And this is when the beautifully thought out set comes into its own. The multi level wood and metal construct, which reminded me of a spartan Manhattan loft apartment, encourages a dynamism of its own as the actors move up, down and around in it with ornate choreography.
In the pit of it is a band whose music captures and captivates, urging the story on and punctuating the truly spooky and at times frightening parts of the play.
Meanwhile the lighting moves fom grey to blood red capturing the visceral emotions of the evening.
Nadia Clifford as Jane Eyre and Tim Delap as Rochester take the plaudits, even at times injecting a bit of humour into the evening with their word play.
Meanwhile Hannah Bristow also impressed in three roles - tragic Helen Burns, bubbly and childish Adèle who Jane Eyre is governess to and finally the kind hearted Diana Rivers.
But the biggest hat tip goes to the person pulling this altogether, director Sally Cookson.
Seldom have I seen a more dynamic performance with such movement, colour and emotion. Genuinely unsettling and quite scary at times, if you haven’t got a ticket already, it’s well worth a try. (Mike Kelly)
Sunderland Echo sums it up as 'An evening with Jane Eyre is like catching up over a cuppa with an old friend'.
We’re transported into our heroine’s world with a sparse, yet beautifully-stylised set comprised of ladders, wooden platforms and metal frames which provides a blank canvas for the settings of Gateshead Hall, Lowood Institution, Thornfield Hall and Moor House. At first it appears like a humble piece of scaffolding, but clever, imaginative use of lighting, suspended props and, of course, flames, soon conjurs the locations we’ve visited so often in our imaginations. As there’s no grand sets that depict the locations, it means a greater use of physical acting is required, with actors becoming walls and even carriages under the inventive direction of Sally Cookson. The eponymous role is played with great passion by the diminutive Nadia Clifford. But though she be but little, she is fierce as we see her transform from a defiant 10-year-old into a determined woman. In a play that spans more than three hours, it’s a demanding title role but Clifford commands your attention throughout with her bold West Yorkshire lilt. The Rochester to her Jane is played by Tim Delap who imbues him with a suitably brooding presence as we watch their intellectual sparring turn to love. But there’s an even more brooding presence lurking in the background, that of his wife Bertha Mason played by Melanie Marshall. This imagining of literature’s most famous mad woman in the attic is one that weaves the narrative together with songs, whether it be a beautifully soulful Mad About The Boy or a slowed-down lamentful Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy which, though on paper would be out of place in a Victorian setting, actually works to great effect. Other theatrical interpretations did jar, however, such as the role of Pilot being played by one of the actors. Though Paul Mundell certainly pulled off the canine role well, a man being a dog was a little distracting. I had expected Rochester’s four-legged friend to be portrayed through puppetry perhaps, as in National Theatre stable mate War Horse. Then there was the omission of the novel’s most famous line “Reader, I married him.” It was like Dirty Dancing with no ‘baby in the corner’. No breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience, as Jane did. I waited for it, but it never came. But maybe that’s the point: much like Jane herself, this production was anything but predictable. (Katy Wheeler)
Narc Magazine reviews it too:
This innovative production is a feast for the senses, with haunting music, billowing curtains, flickering flames and tumultuous scenes. Written 170 years ago, the theme remains entirely relevant and liberatingly powerful.
It’s a girl, yes, but don’t be fooled by that. This was a girl that the world had never seen before: a girl ready to stand up for herself against prejudice and discrimination.
This girl can. And does. (Helen Redfern)
La Capital (Argentina) reviews the film A Quiet Passion and quotes director Terence Davies:
"En el siglo XIX en Estados Unidos se imitaba la manera de hablar de los británicos", apuntó Davies. "Estas mujeres eran muy cultas, y en una sociedad que sólo les ofrecía libros y aprender, se dedicaban a hacerlo. Pasaba lo mismo con las hermanas Brontë. Eran mujeres inteligentes, divertidas y frágiles a la vez". (Translation)
Here's how A.V. Club describes the game Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series:
As of this episode, there aren’t any major noticeable consequences for constantly disappointing one person or another in your party, other than the regular displays of sincere disappointment that make your battle-hardened crew of space warriors come across as having a surprisingly deep well of acute sensitivity, like a Brontë novel with warmongering space zealots. (Nick Wanserski)
Trome (Peru) asks writer María Lourdes Torres about her early reading:
¿Cuáles fueron tus primeras lecturas? Comencé leyendo los clásicos como ‘Mujercitas’ o ‘Mi planta de naranja Lima’. En el colegio también me incentivaron la lectura. Teníamos mucha influencia de la Literatura inglesa. Para mí fue maravilloso conocer la literatura de las hermanas Brontë (Jane Eyre y Cumbres Borrascosas), Oscar Wilde (El fantasma de Canterville). A los 15 años empecé a leer a Mario Vargas Llosa (La ciudad y los perros, Lituma en los Andes y Pantaleón y las visitadoras). (Juliane Angeles) (Translation)
Another Brontëite in Diario de Xalapa (Mexico):
[Juan Vicente] Melo, fue melómano, conocedor profundo de música clásica, y además ejecutante él mismo. Su impresión del puerto de Veracruz, el de la infancia y adolescencia, es delicioso, cuando adivinaba la ruta de los tranvías, o su descripción de Los Portales. Destaca su aceptación filial por Faulkner y Julien Green y su fervor por Cumbres borrascosas, de Brontë. (Irving Ramírez) (Translation)
Yesterday Eryk Ostrowski spoke on Polskie Radio (Poland) about his new book, in which he claims that Branwell, not Emily, wrote Wuthering Heights. Christchurch City Libraries blog reviews Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele.

Finally, locals may want to vote for the Brontë Parsonage Museum on Yorkshire Attractions for a chance to win 'a weekend stay at the ibis Styles Leeds City Centre Arena, alongside a bumper pack of family tickets, all worth a whopping £500!'


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