I have been incredibly lucky to be invited to several plays already this year but I was most excited about going to see this production of Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is one of those stories I love to see depicted in different ways, I've seen pretty much every film adaptation of the story so it seemed only right to see it on stage too! It was a collaboration between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic and began it's tour at the Lowry in Salford (where I went to see it.)
The production was stunningly choreographed and the use of the set and stage made the small cast seem huge. There were several ladders and platforms that created different layers to the play. It follows the original story pretty solidly with only one difference that I saw (she didn't inherit the money from her dead uncle in the stage show) It starts with her parents dying and her being handed over to her aunt and uncle to be raised. Unfortunately her uncle (blood relation) dies and she is left in the hands of her aunt who does not like her at all. From here she goes to a boarding school.
At several times in the play the other cast members became her thoughts so we could hear what she was thinking and this let us into Jane's world in such a clever way. They also ran on the spot to give the illusion of travelling between destinations. There was even an on stage band made up by some of the actors who played at crucial moments but didn't take away from the action.
The final scene of the play when Jane comes back to Thornfield when she finds out there was a fire.
Another example of a wonderful use of props - this is a scene when the cast were her thoughts.
The production wasn't all serious, there were several laughs, especially with one cast member who played the part of Mr Rochester's dog. He would bounce around the stage barking, panting and slapping his thigh with a belt as a tail. It was so funny. But there were also sad moments! Jane's first friend dying in the boarding school, Jane falling in love only to believe Mr Rochester wants to marry someone else. There is then of course finding out Mr Rochester is already married, the fire and the final kiss. Someone pass me a tissue!
Stunning visuals during the scene where Jane gets ready for her wedding to Mr Rochester.