Jane Eyre @ Dundee Rep

A whirlwind of a production that tells the story of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel with beautiful, intimate flair

Review by Mirren Wilson | 06 Nov 2019
  • Jane Eyre @ Dundee Rep

Jane Eyre is one of those literary characters who will always survive the test of time, “a free human being with an independent will” who continues to inspire and empower generations of woman all over the world. 

Taking great pride in listening to what their audiences want to see, Blackeyed Theatre aim to be a company who consistently challenge expectations. So it’s really no surprise that they’re in the midst of an ambitious worldly tour, sharing a classic story that we all know and love. Taking on Charlotte Brontë’s epic novel is nothing short of a challenge, but writer Nick Lane has adapted the book for the stage with respect and clarity. The script alternates between monologue and dialogue, and some scenes are a little flat. However, it is successful in establishing Jane and the audience as friends from the get-go and distils the story to its key plot points whilst maintaining most of its human power and strength.

Director Adrian McDougall has triumphed with a tight ensemble of actor-musicians who handle the text with impressive fluidity, moving through each scene with a wonderfully rich understanding of the emotional rhythms. Kelsey Short features as a steely yet vulnerable Jane. This production is gracefully musical, with an emotive score composed by George Jennings. The musical element emphasises the tone and works brilliantly at creating a romantic, gloomy and nostalgic atmosphere. The audience gets a real sense of sharing Jane’s journey, reflecting the experience of the novel, as we swirl in and out of her life.

There are a couple of questionable moments of physicality and imagery that jar with the style of the piece. But overall this Jane Eyre is told beautifully and intimately – you’ll leave with your heart swellling.

Touring until Spring 2020