Six months of 2020 touring dates have been announced for Blackeyed Theatre’s epic international tour of Nick Lane’s thrilling new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece Jane Eyre. This spectacular world premiere is touring until June 2020, and will make its way across the UK, including a return home to the Yorkshire moors, as well as The Netherlands and China.
Heading to Yorkshire, where Charlotte Brontë was born and her famous heroine struggles for freedom, this Gothic masterpiece of tempestuous passions and dark secrets follows Jane Eyre from her orphaned childhood to her life at Thornfield Hall with the mysterious and brooding Mr Rochester. But her newfound happiness is threatened by hidden pasts in the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall and a terrible secret forces her to make a heart-wrenching choice.
Blackeyed Theatre captivatingly brings to life an unforgettable portrayal of Jane’s quest for equality in a patriarchal society. In spite of terrible hardships, Brontë’s heroine perseveres in order to define her own life and happiness, rather than it being defined for her by others. A woman in a man’s world striving to succeed independently, Charlotte Brontë originally published under a male pseudonym. Her and Jane’s search for equality and freedom still hit home today.
The cast features Kelsey Short as Jane Eyre (Class, Spur of the Moment; F*cking Life Mate, JamesArts Productions; Broken, The White Bear), Ben Warwick as Mr Rochester (Pentecost; The Oedipus Plays, National Theatre; The Deep Blue Sea, Watford Palace; Les Liaisons Dangereuses and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, York Theatre Royal; Hamlet, English Touring Theatre), Camilla Simson as Mrs Fairfax (The Merchant of Venice, The Globe, Rome; Thin Toes, Pleasance; Lady Windermere’s Fan, Bill Kenwright national tour; Shakers, Liverpool Playhouse), Eleanor Toms as Blanche Ingram (The Secret Garden, The Minack Theatre; Astley’s Astounding Adventures, New Vic; Blue Stockings, Cockpit Theatre), Oliver Hamilton as St John Rivers (Maggie May, Liverpool Everyman; Crossroads, The Actors Church; A Christmas Carol, Windsor Castle).
In their trademark style, Blackeyed Theatre’s interpretation of Jane Eyre will feature an ensemble cast of actor-musicians. The performance includes live music written specially for the production by award-winning composer George Jennings.
Director and Producer Adrian McDougall said: “Bringing Jane Eyre to the stage with such a wonderful group of artists and to see it thrive has been a sheer joy, to say nothing of the incredible reaction from audiences young and old. In 2020 we’ll be bringing Brontë’s masterpiece to many more UK theatres, including first-time visits to Crewe Lyceum and Theatre Royal Bath, and sharing it with audiences across The Netherlands and China. At a time when we feel so divided, it’s comforting to see how much we have in common when it comes to our love of Brontë and, more broadly, literature and theatre.”
Writer Nick Lane commented: “Plays based on books have to be their own thing, no matter the manner in which their stories are related to an audience, and I think this production looks – and perhaps more importantly feels – both strongly connected to the source material and also is its own thing. I’m still pinching myself that I was given the chance to adapt such an incredible, iconic novel as Jane Eyre and I’m looking forward to seeing how the show has grown. I’ve been reading all the lovely reviews for the cast and for the production and I’m certain they’ll continue.”
Jane Eyre is produced by Blackeyed Theatre in association with South Hill Park in Bracknell and supported by Arts Council England.
Blackeyed Theatre’s Jane Eyre will tour the UK, The Netherlands and China until June 2020.