Jane Eyre

JaneEyre_A5flyer (dragged)Click here for photographs of this productionFollowing our sell-out production of The Crucible in 2011 the Bradfordians were delighted to return to the atmospheric surroundings of our glorious Tithe Barn to present Charlotte Bronte’s most haunting of all love stories, and one of the most popular stories ever!

Praise for “Jane Eyre”

“Many congratulations on the outstanding production of ‘Jane Eyre’ performed last week at the Tithe Barn, BOA. My friends and I very much enjoyed such a professional production which included so many talented ‘youngsters’. The staging and props were most impressive and added to a great evening’s entertainment. Thank you.”

“I just want to say how wonderful I thought your production of Jane Eyre was. The whole cast was incredible and so good at portraying the characters they were playing. The script was so true to the original book and all the important bits were there for all to enjoy. I was particularly pleased the part at Moor House was included. This is the part often left out of other productions. I was totally absorbed from start to finish an excellent show thank you to all of you.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed and totally enthralled by Jane Eyre last night – a flawless production from all: stage hands, actors, set design, torch holders, to name but a few. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Director’s notes…

Jane Eyre? In the Tithe Barn? The idea of performing this much loved gothic classic in our much loved Tithe Barn was irresistible!

I searched for play scripts and found three versions. When they arrived I read them eagerly. Saly the first two began with Jane’s arrival at Thornfield Hall, missing out her early life in the house of her Aunt, and her schooldays. This seemed such a pity. Now chance of the back story which explains so much about Jane’s character – as well as a shocking waste of opportunities to bring to life some rich – mostly unpleasant – characters!

The third script – by Willis Hall, was more promising, but had a small cast and a lot of narration. Again a waste of opportunities for the society. I expected this to be a popular choice for our talented group and I was not wrong. We had nearly 50 adults and children who wanted to be part of the show!

The only solution, then, seemed to be to write a bespoke version which sou,d be true to the book as well as giving opportunities for a large cast.

Although the book is long, it is so well written that it was not a difficult task to separate the parts which forward the story, include the most dramatic moments and, most importantly,retain as much of Charlotte Bronte’s dialogue as possible. Certainly – you may be relieved to hear – more than 90% of the dialogue in my version is taken straight from the book – with a few variations to link scenes and characters.

Adapting a book does, of course, bring its own problems. For instance having someone fall of a horse – or burning down a house are things which do cause a few sleepiness nights!

I have tried to be as true to the original book as possible, whilst making a coherent piece of exciting drama. The cats have been such a joy to work with: (major panic when our adult Jane – a budding make-up artiste – was offered work “sometime in July” on the new “Alice in Wonderland 2” with Johnny Depp! After 2 weeks of agony it was decided that they would not start filming until September. Phew!!)

I hope that your enjoyment watching tonight’s performance will be as great as our enjoyment has been in it’s creation.

Director – Phil Courage

Performance dates were 8 – 12 July.

Jane Eyre – Vanessa Budgett
Jane as a child – Eleanor Powell
John Reed – Sam Cooper
Lizzy Reed – Billie Appleton
Georgina Reed – Clara Howison
Mrs Reed – Mary O’Malley
Bessie – Beryl Baggs
Abbot – Astrid Bishop
Mr.Brocklehurst – Phil Chambers
Miss Temple – Louise Tavener
Miss Miller – Nadine Comba
Helen Burns – Georgianna Snelling
Nurse – Frances Hopwood
Barbara – Margerita Carr
Mrs. Fairfax – Sue Bolden
Adele – Manon Navarro
Leah – Cally Smart
Edward Rochester – Al Brunker
John – Carey Chapman
Servant – Julia Bond
Lady Ingram – Freda Ferne
Blanche Ingram – Felicity Courage
Mary Ingram – Kate Burton
Grace Poole – Susanna White
Bertha – Tina Scudder
Mason – Ben Pender
Briggs – Simon Green
Rev. Woods – Mike Dickinson
St John Rivers – Gareth Lloyd
Mary Rivers – Colette Bond
Diana Rivers – Natasha Harvey
Hannah – Dee Way
Bessie – Sarah Smart
1st villager – Nadine Comba
2nd villager – Frances Hopwood
3rd villager – Tina Scudder
Village girl – Kate Cooper

Schoolgirls & carol singers

Billie Appleton, Estelle Beesley, Colette Bond, Julia Bond, Saffie
Gelbier-Bull, Kate Cooper, Kimberley Fowler,

Natasha Harvey, Clara Howison, Amanda Pearce, Faradeh Roberts, Sarah
Smart, Georgianna Snelling

Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.30 – 10pm in the Lambert Rooms, Bradford on Avon. Our first rehearsal will be a read through on Thursday 24 April.


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