Monday 4 – Saturday 16 September 2017
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
The National Theatre’s energetic and imaginative new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece – Jane Eyre, comes to Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 4 – 16 September as part of a major twenty-one city tour of the UK.
2017 marks the 170th anniversary of the first publication of Jane Eyre – and Charlotte Brontë’s much loved story of the trailblazing Jane is still as inspiring as ever. This bold and dynamic production tells the story of one woman’s fight for freedom and fulfilment. From her beginnings as a destitute orphan, Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.
Director Sally Cookson said about her production of Jane Eyre:
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.
I chose this particular title because it’s a story that I love and have enjoyed a close relationship with ever since I was intrigued, as a child, by Orson Welles’ black and white melodrama with fabulous music by Bernard Herrmann.
I didn’t actually read the novel until I was in my early twenties and I remember thinking while I read it: ‘This is a clarion cry for equal opportunities for women, not a story about a passive female who will do anything for her hunky boss’. I was struck by how modern Jane seemed – her spirit and strong will, her peculiar and brilliant mind striving for personal freedom to be who she is, lashing out against any constraint that prevents her from being herself. She was exactly the sort of person I wanted to be.
In Sally Cookson’s highly-acclaimed staging Nadia Clifford plays Jane Eyre with Tim Delap as Rochester. They are joined by Hannah Bristow (Helen Burns/Adele/St John/Grace Poole/Abbot), Matthew Churcher (Musician), Alex Heane (Musician), Melanie Marshall (Bertha Mason), Paul Mundell (Mr Brocklehurst/Pilot/Mason), David Ridley (musician), Evelyn Miller (Bessie/Blanche Ingram/Diana) and Lynda Rook (Mrs Reed/Mrs Fairfax). The cast is completed by Ben Cutler, Jenny Johns, Dami Olukoya, Francesca Tomlinson and Phoebe Vigor.
This exciting new stage version of Jane Eyre was originally presented in two parts at Bristol Old Vic, and then transferred to the National Theatre, re-imagined as a single performance, playing to sold out houses at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre. The production was devised by the original company, with set designs by Michael Vale, costumes by Katie Sykes, lighting by Aideen Malone, music by Benji Bower, sound by Dominic Bilkey, movement by Dan Canham and dramaturgy by Mike Akers.
Director Sally Cookson is an Associate Artist of Bristol Old Vic, where her productions include Treasure Island and Peter Pan; and elsewhere, Boing! (Sadler’s Wells), Cinderella (St James Theatre), an adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather (West End and UK tour), and Romeo and Juliet (Rose Theatre, Kingston).
Monday 4 – Saturday 16 September
Performance times: 7.00pm (Mon – Sat), matinees at 2.00pm on Thu 7, Sat 9, Thu 14 and Sat 16 Sept.
Captioned performance: Tue 12 Sep
Post-show discussion: Wed 13 Sep
Audio Described performance: Thu 14 Sep, 2pm
British Sign Language Interpreted performance: Sat 16 Sep, 2pm
Tickets from £15 (subject to availability)
Box Office: 0121 236 4455 Online booking: birmingham-rep.co.uk
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2EP
Running time: 3 hours including an interval
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Tour website: janeeyreonstage.co.uk | Twitter @janeeyreonstage