As an English Literature graduate, I have long been a fan of Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre so it was on my must-see list at the Wales Millennium Centre.
It always struck me to be a tale of great passion and this National Theatre production brought fierce energy to the stage.
Aside from Jane, the small cast played multiple roles to bring the novel to life. From Pilot the dog to children, the cast were excellent at performing more challenging roles.
The simple set uses a network of ladders, levels and steps to transform into Lowood School, Thornfield and Jane’s childhood home. The set gave the cast the space to perform energetically, hurrying up ladders, swinging from underneath the platform, rushing down stairs. All this added to the vibrant production.
Use of props such as mirrors and frames helped to tell the story while the set was decorated by simple but effective props such as strings of lights, clothes on hangers and Jane’s floating veil and wedding dress.
A small band of musicians provided music and percussion to animate the production from the caning of Jane’s beloved friend Helen to the sounds of the carriage travelling along as the cast pitter pattered on their feet. And the cast’s singing had a haunting quality with stunning covers of Mad About the Boy and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy.
At three hours (including an interval) it is a long play, but I was engrossed. It was fantastic to see the play performed so creatively by a talented cast who proved that Jane Eyre is as fierce a story as ever.
The production ends at the Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday 1 July, but the UK tour continues. Find out more here.