JANE EYRE was originally presented as a two part performance at the Bristol Old Vic in 2014. This new adaption is just over three hours long, which although is a much shorter version, was long enough for me. I’m not sure I would have been able to sit for too much longer, even though it kept me totally engaged from the very beginning to the end.
The story Jane Eyre is a much loved novel by Charlotte Bronte, which was published in 1847. It tells the tale of Jane Eyre, who was played by Nadia Clifford from birth to adulthood where she meets and falls in love with Mr Rochester (Tim Delap) the master of Thornfield Hall, whilst she is the governess to his child. She learns from a very young age that in order to thrive in life she needs to be fed not only physically, but emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.
The set was not what I would have expected from a period drama. It was simple and made up of metal ladders and wood, allowing different levels to be worked with, plus a white curtain surrounding the stage giving a clean crisp box like impression. The simplicity combined with the acting and lighting worked. A massive shout out to the technical team here – you were incredible; and the music was a perfect touch. Having the band on stage, not in your face, but enough to draw your attention as and when needed was a perfect decision. Each scene took you emotionally to the next, completely engaging and leaving you wanting more. It was incredible how they remembered three hours worth of going up and down ladders; it was exhausting to watch.
This is possibly the most beautiful play I have ever seen. It was truly brought to life by a cast of 10, who all oozed talent. I particularly warmed to Bartha Mason (Meleanie Marshall) who had a voice that not only left you smiling, but also gave you goosebumps; there was also a few well known songs thrown in that totally blended into the story line. One more shout out also has to go to Paul Mundell, who played a few roles – his role as Mr Rochester’s dog was outstanding, I couldn’t help but giggle at his happy face and waggly tail, it was so life like. Everything was brought to life by your imagination. I can’t get over how such a simple set, had you seeing horses, dog, schools, houses and so much more.
I haven’t see a production of Jane Eyre before, but I can only imagine that this is a very fresh, up to date version, attracting not only the older but also the new generation to the theatre, keeping Jane Eyre a very much loved story – it’s a show definitely not to be missed, with a little something for everyone.
Jane Eyre runs until Saturday 29th April 2017 at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Tickets are available fromhttp://www.atgtickets.com/venues/aylesbury-waterside-theatre or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7607.