Classic tale is clarion cry for equal rights

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre
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ONE hundred and seventy years after it was first published, a new stage production of Charlotte Brontë’s classic Jane Eyre tours to the Festival Theatre next week.

Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane 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, says, “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.”

Cookson continues, ‘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-20s and remember thinking ‘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.”

Jane Eyre, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, tonight-Saturday, 7.30pm (2.30pm), £20-£32.50, 0131-529 6000