adapted by Charles Vance from Charlotte Bronte
30th March – 4th April, 2009
Jane arrives at Thornfield
Rochester attends to a wounded Mason
The wedding is stopped
This adaptation faithfully conveys the exceptional emotional power of the original novel. Focusing on the love story between Jane and Rochester, the play begins as Jane arrives in 1846 to act as governess to Rochester’s ward at Thornfield Hall, a place of mystery and fear. This version is a must for the romantics among us, and the lovers of good classic novels will not be disappointed.
To adapt the whole story of Jane Eyre for the stage would be an impossible task. Charles Vance has therefore chosen to tocus on the love story between Jane and Rochester. This enables him to contain the action in one main set, that of Thornfield Hall at Milcote in Yorkshire, with the exception of a small inset scene in a church. Charlotte Bronte's novel is written in the first person, but Vance is able to 'report' the important parts of Jane's life before Thornfield and after the aborted wedding through the dialogue. I think he has produced an adaptation which remains faithful to the text, even incorporating some of the actual words Chariotte wrote.
When the Reading and Casting Committee chose this play, I did not think they would be aware of the significance of the dates selected. (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong!) Chariotte Bronte actually died on March 31" 1855, one hundred and fifty-four years ago on the Tuesday of our play week and she was buried four days later on April 4"', our last night!
A talented cast and backstage crew have been assembled tor this play and I am privileged to have been their Director and grateful for all their hard work. I hope you enjoy 'Jane Eyre' as much as I do.