Reviewed by Michelle Llabani
From the sublime to the ridiculous!
It was with much anticipation that I took my seat in the modern and comfortable Milton Keynes Theatre. Jane Eyre, one of the most well-known and beloved books in English literature, a feast for the senses and the heart.
Within seconds of the lights dimming there was a cacophony of noise on the already exposed stage, taking many of the audience by surprise, a taste of what was to come.
The staging was simple and a times effective, with one stripped back set for the whole play… With many ladders and platforms it reminded me slightly of the old gym equipment which used to appear from the walls in primary schools.
On stage at all times was Jane. Not even leaving for costume changes, which were weaved symbolically into the staging. The acting from Nadir Clifford was outstanding, with notable performances from Tim Delay as Mr Rochester and Evelyn Miller as Bessy, Blanched and St John.
Scenes ranged from carefree to dark and menacing… With the live musicians on stage adding depth. And sometimes humour. Unfortunately, there were some confusing moments as well, pilot, the dog, played by Paul Mundell was at times downright bizarre and distracting, and at 3 hours long a challenge to keep focused on the multiple parts played by the small ensemble of actors (bearded ‘girls’ at the school Jane is sent to, being particularly challenging).
All in all a true representation of the story, with expertly acted dialogue, just a little too theatrically challenging for me to suspend belief and immerse myself totally.
Tickets cost from £16.40 to £37.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Jane Eyre is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 10-15 July 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3NZ