Bristol Old Vic Jane Eyre Review

Jane Eyre, originally written by Charlotte Bronte, was adapted and directed by Sally Cookson at The Old Vic, Bristol. The basic theme of the play is about Jane’s story from when she was born, through school life and adulthood.

Bristol Old Vic Jane Eyre Review

Jane Eyre, originally written by Charlotte Bronte, was adapted and directed by Sally Cookson at The Old Vic, Bristol. The basic theme of the play is about Jane’s story from when she was born, through school life and adulthood.

The play starts from the day Jane is born and becomes an orphan, who is then left in the care of here abusive Aunt and later sent to boarding school with an abusive headmaster. Despite that though she stays there for a few years as a student and later as a teacher, but then moves on to find her own life outside of school.

Madeleine Worrall plays Jane Eyre in the production, which is very emotional to watch and she gave a first-class performance which moved the entire audience and took us on a journey with her. Her interpretations were mostly easy to understand but when she was playing a child, I found that some words were difficult to pick up. 

Melanie Marshall character was Grace Poole, who was a mad woman trapped upstairs at Rochester Hall, who could only express herself through song. This gave the play the atmospherics that it needed to show the darker and mysterious parts. Her voice was always very clear and pleasant to the ear and the way she always stood gave a ghostly feeling about her.

The set resembles a construction site because it suggests that Jane hasn’t yet built up and completed her life. The play also gave a feeling that it is set in the modern day but the costumes suggest differently, because they have a Victorian style to them. The lighting was very effective because of the white curtain covering the sides and back of the stage, so seasons and time can change instantly. Also, there was a lot of spotlighting, so your focus wasn’t on something that it wasn’t meant to. The general sound throughout the show was the music from the band and the main singer, who were also shown on the stage, to remind you that you are watching a play. This engaged the audience because it showed how the characters were feeling.

Overall, the play captured the audience from the beginning to the end and left them with a happy ending. My own opinion of the play, was that it was a little bit slow at the start of act 2, but caught up again towards the end, so I would strongly recommend Jane Eyre to anyone.

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