Adapted from the novel by Charlotte Brontë
Blue Orange Arts
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
Charlotte Brontë's immortal Jane Eyre is easily one of the greatest staple English gothic romances ever written.
It has been adapted many times, and with varying focuses being applied to the aspects of the story. Some tend toward the horror and creeping dread of the mysterious presence and laughter in Thornfield Hall, or the brooding romance between Jane, the headstrong governess, and Mr Rochester, her difficult employer and Byronic love interest.
Blue Orange Arts has taken a broader approach in its interpretation of the story which is a surprisingly entertaining, if brief, skim through of the major plot events. While nothing of importance is missing, that does have the unfortunate effect of making the story crack forward at a breakneck pace without ever really giving the audience time to get a feel for the characters.
There is also a small amount of puppetry, which adds a dash of fun, as Rochester's over-affectionate hound that bounds around the stage and his ward Adèle are both rendered to life in fabric and textile. There are however no bum notes in the performances, as the cast all acquit themselves with aplomb.
Really, this stands as a solid and entertaining if rather hurried version of the story. The perfect condensed Eyre, for a younger audience, or those new to the tale, unwilling to invest the time and effort in the three-volume novel itself.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan