It is the story of a young heroine who, after spending her childhood in an orphan’s home, finds herself in a constant fight against poverty and injustice before finally finding personal fulfilment in the form of the love of her life. Just in time for the 170th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s undoubted masterpiece Jane Eyre, the adapted theatre play is on tour in the UK, stopping in Brighton at the end of this month.
Director Sally Cookson from the Bristol Old Vic company has created an exciting and dynamic new stage adaptation of Brontë’s novel. The Bristol Old Vic and National Theatre co-production, Jane Eyre, has already known a great success when playing to sold out houses at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton venue. The Daily Telegraph has described the adaptation as “original, engaging and unexpectedly funny”.
Adapting Brontë’s masterpiece for the stage was a challenge for the director who says having been “struck by how modern Jane seemed” in her fight against constraints stopping her from being herself.
“Adapting a novel for the stage is a challenging prospect – especially when that novel is cited as many people’s favourite of all time. It is always daunting when you’re working on a story which everyone knows so well because you want to surprise and maybe challenge people’s expectations, without losing any of the things which make them like the story in the first place”, Cookson described her intentions behind her production.
The new stage adaptation sees National Theatre acclaimed actress Nadia Clifford jump into the role of young heroine Jane Eyre while the man of her life she gets bitterly betrayed by is played by Tim Delap. Other actors include Hannah Bristow (in the roles of Helen Burns/Adele/St John/Grace Poole and Abbot), Melanie Marshall (Bertha Mason), Paul Mundell (Mr Brocklehurst/Pilot/Mason).
Cookson’s production of Jane Eyre will be playing in Brighton as part of the UK tour from Monday, July 24, until Saturday, July 29, at the Theatre Royal.