Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre still inspires ...

Currently running now at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre in England is what has been described by The Times as 'an improv approach' to a novel written by a young woman who published her story about a young orphaned girl in 1847 under a pen name 'Currer Bell' (CB) known forever as Charlotte Bronte.  Fast forward one hundred and sixty seven years later, where it is now being put on as a theatre production with musical accompaniment by musicians playing offstage. It is not being marketed as  a 'musical' but a theatre play with dialogue set to music. Here in New York City, whether it played on Broadway or Off-Broadway, it might be marketed as a musical.  Either way, it sounds like such a wonderfully produced piece of theatre and I cannot help but wonder what Ms. Bronte would make of all this fuss over her bit of writing!


The Bristol Old Vic's director Sally Cookson explains, "It's chaotic and very, very noisy. There is a medley of voices in different accents, an accordion, a guitar and a piano, flurries of arms and legs and people talking all at once."  It was a lifelong ambition of Sally Cookson to re-interpret the characters and the story of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre explored through a musical score.  Jane Eyre explores themes of individual freedom, accountability, the stigma of mental illness with the folk tradition of live music.

So, if you're in England between now and March, please head over to the Bristol Old Vic and go see this interpretation of Jane Eyre. I wish I could. It reminds me of the avant-garde theatre productions you would find in Greenwich Village here in New York City. 

Here is the theatre link for more information, Bristol Old Vic


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