Balletic Jane Eyre down by the Waterside

Join one of literature's most iconic heroines on a journey of courage, romance and tragedy with the World Premiere tour of Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre.

Friday, 20th May 2016, 2:28 pm
Updated Friday, 20th May 2016, 3:35 pm
Northern Ballet - Jane Eyre. Javier Torres as Mr Rochester, Hannah Bateman as Jane Eyre. Picture by Justin Slee

Based on the novel by Charlotte Bronte and performed during the 200th anniversary of her birth, Northern Ballet will bring this beautiful love story to life at the Waterside Theatre at the beginning of June. Northern Ballet regularly takes inspiration from literature, to adapt classic stories for the stage, giving ballet fans beautiful new productions to enjoy.

Bronte’s story is the ultimate dramatic tale of romance, jealousy and dark secrets, and gives a perfect opportunity for adaptation to ballet. Orphaned at a young age and cruelly treated by her aunt, Jane Eyre is a plain but intelligent child who grows up knowing little kindness.

Sent away to a charitable school, Jane later accepts a position as a governess at Thornfield, a gentleman’s manor whose master is the dark and impassioned Mr Rochester.

In spite of their social differences, an unlikely bond grows between the pair but as their romance develops , it becomes clear that Mr Rochester has a hidden past that threatens to ruin them both.

Jane Eyre is choreographed by internationally acclaimed British dance maker Cathy Marston who previously created the Dickens classic A Tale Of Two Cities for Northern Ballet in 2008.

For this production Ms Marston has brought on board composer Philip Feeney to compile and arrange a score made up of original compositions and existing work.

Ms Marston said: “Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre was a novel far ahead of its time and when I think of Jane I feel inspired by images of her passionate but ‘impossible’ relationship with Mr Rochester; the fire and emotional destruction symbolised by Bertha Mason - the infamous ‘woman in the attic’ -; the contrasting moorland through which Jane seems to run from one chapter of her life to another; and of course her final reunion with Rochester.

“But these images only touch the surface of a character and a book that continue to provoke and move, generation after generation, re-read after re-read.”

Northern Ballet’s artistic director David Nixon OBE said: “Having already adapted Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights it seems appropriate that Northern Ballet should also immortalise her sister’s Jane Eyre through dance and doing so in the bicentennial anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth makes it all the more special.”

Jane Eyre is on at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury at 7.30pm on Friday June 3 and Saturday June 4. Tickets from £10.50, box office 0844 871 7607.

The image above shows Javier Torres as Mr Rochester with Hannah Bateman as Jane Eyre. Picture by Justin Slee.