Last Thursday, I saw Jane Eyre in Edinburgh and on the whole as a tremendous piece of Theatre and I would whole- heartily recommend going to see it. It was truly fantastic and I enjoyed every minute of it. It had exactly the right balance of intense and tear-jerking moments with a few bits of light humour thrown in. The cast was fantastic, considering there were only 8 of them and they switched roles with ease. Sally Cook the director said that she didn’t want the play to be a ‘suffocating costume drama’ and I feel like she used the stylised acting very well to portray and it also gave the play a slightly otherworldly feel. The play itself had hints of Brechtian theatre within it (ooh, I sound so fancy) with the use of live music and singing on stage band which very effectively broke the fourth wall and really set the tone and the atmosphere of play. Bertha’s who was always on stage throughout the play, her madness was also expressed through singing only and because she was such a fantastic singer, it was powerful, haunting and the best expression of madness I’ve ever seen on stage. Bertha was also the only character dressed in red which as well as symbolising madness and lust which are the two things her character is built around, supports a school of thought which I love. I read once in an Essay for my A-level English exam that Bertha is Jane Eyre’s alter ego and expresses the lust, madness, and sexuality that Jane Eyre represses. It’s just a thought but it’s certainly one that could be discussed for hours.
I also really liked how the set (see above) and the costumes were so simple and minimal because it meant that the actors and story were not suffocated and it could be brought to life in a much more simple and effective way. To conclude, this play truly captures the passionate heart and true nature of the story. It makes you realise why it’s still so loved and revered today. Definitely 5/5 stars. (And click here for a trailer.)
Have you ever seen something like this before? Would you go and see if it was on near you?