JANE EYRE SYNOPSIS
Jane Eyre depicts the life of the eponymous, orphaned, protagonist as she grows through school and into adulthood. Following a school life under the dastardly Mr Brocklehurst at Lowood School, Jane takes a job at Thornfield Hall. Greeted by Mrs Fairfax, Jane soon meets the house's owner Mr Rochester, realising his identity as she assists him following a fall from his horse. As a relationship between Rochester and Jane progresses, it becomes clear there is more to his background than meets the eye. Primarily of the Bildungsroman genre, Jane Eyre is a classic piece of Victorian Literature.
POLLY TEALE'S AND DIRECT-H'S EYRE
Published in 1998, and originally performed by her company Shared Experience, Polly Teale's adaptation of Jane Eyre is unique in both its concision of Brontë's original text and presentation of the relationship between Jane and Bertha Mason. Where in The Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) Jean Rhys provides a prequel to the novel, Teale instead offers a critical lens through which to view the text- scripting Bertha as both herself and an alternative manifestation of Jane.
In the opening scene, the young Bertha, in a manner reminiscent of Peter Pan and his shadow in JM Barrie's nursery scene, follows Jane as they imagine travelling the globe together. This unity becomes all the more sinister as the work unravels. Bertha's attic is positioned on stage and Bertha, along with her ward Grace Poole, are visible throughout Jane's story. Bertha often reacts violently when Jane represses emotion as though a personification of the protagonist's inner tumult.
In Direct-H's production, the text's psychoanalytic interpretation of Brontë's work inspired co-directors Imogen O' Sullivan and Olivia Gillman to retain a Victorian setting whilst placing an emphasis upon further representations of Jane's emotion that often delved more deeply into modern visual domains. This filtered through to their electronic soundtrack, including music by band The Laurel Collective and the marketing campaign - featuring a geometric fire. Juxtaposed against the extensively naturalistic setting of the Victorian stage below, a three dimensional geometric lamp, echoing the shape of that in the marketing campaign, illuminated Bertha's attic. Her silhouette could often be seen writhing with anger in front of it.