Hull Truck Theatre Company triumph with production of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre, The Roses, Tewkesbury
Charlotte Bronte and arguably her most famous book, Jane Eyre, came to The Roses in Tewkesbury.
With a pretty full house i was looking forward to see how one of my favourite classic novels would be brought to life on the stage. Produced by the indomitable Hull Truck and directed by Nick Lane, this clever adaptation has a cast of just three.
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An atmospheric backdrop of burnt journal pages and books line the modest set as the play opens with Jane Eyre's most famous line: "Reader, I married him."
We meet Jane, beautifully portrayed by Rebecca Hutchinson whilst she is a teacher at Lowood School.
She soon moves to Thornfield Hall, owned by the brooding and arrogant Mr Rochester, played brilliantly by Andrew Dowbiggen – who also takes on the roles of St John Rivers, Mason, William and John Reed.
The tale of love, loss and redemption unfolds as we see Jane become governess to a little french girl, Adele.
Played by Victoria Kay, she provided much of the comedy and light relief throughout the drama as she moved seamlessly between the roles of Miss Temple, Mrs Fairfax, Blanche and Bertha.
With a clever use of flashbacks throughout, we see Jane's bleak beginnings under the care of her mean-spirited, spiteful Aunt Reed.
We watch as Jane and Mr Rochester fall in love and overcome the hurdles of Blanche Ingram and the impropriety of a relationship between a gentleman of power and a modest governess.
And we're continually reminded that this is a gothic tale, as the mystery unfolds underneath the laughter emanating from the 3rd floor.
This adaptation of Bronte's Jane Eyre proved to be atmospheric, engaging and enjoyable.There were a few witty lines and just enough emotion as Mr Rochester and Jane were reunited.
Hull Truck captures the essence of Bronte's daring novel. It's made me want to dig out my copy and read it all over again.