Northern Ballet to perform Jane Eyre in Richmond next year to mark 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth

Charlotte Brontë’s iconic masterpiece Jane Eyre will be performed by Northern Ballet next year to mark the bicentennial anniversary of the author’s birth.

 Choreographed by acclaimed international dance maker Cathy Marston, the new full-length ballet will host its world première in Doncaster on May 19 2016 before touring to five other venues including Richmond Theatre.

Orphaned at a young age and cruelly treated by her aunt the plain but intelligent Jane Eyre 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.

Ms Marston said: “Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was a novel far ahead of its time.

“When I think of Jane Eyre 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 icy moorland through which she 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.”

Jane Eyre will be Cathy Marston’s second full-length production for Northern Ballet following her creation of the Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities for the Company in 2008.

For this new production Cathy has brought onboard composer Philip Feeney to compile and arrange a score for Jane Eyre made up of original compositions and existing work.

Philip’s connection with Northern Ballet stretches back over 25 years and his credits include Cinderella (Gable), Dracula (Gable), Hunchback of Notre Dame (Pink), A Streetcar Named Desire (Veldman), Hamlet (Nixon), Cinderella (Nixon) and Elves & the Shoemaker (Andrade).

Patrick Kinmonth, who has worked closely with photographer Mario Testino designing numerous campaigns, books, and exhibitions for Gucci, Valentino, Versace and Dior, and has designed more than 20 theatrical productions, will design the sets and costumes.

Ms Marston added: “Creating for Northern Ballet is a joy because everyone in the organisation shares my passion for telling and digging deep into stories through dance.

“Though the company has excellent technique and production values, it is their unparalleled ability as dance actors that I love most so I am thrilled to return to Northern Ballet in 2016 to create Jane Eyre.’

Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon OBE said: “Cathy is a huge talent and one of the leading choreographers of the moment so I am delighted that she will be returning to work with Northern Ballet once more.

“Having already adapted Emily Brontë’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 Brontë’s birth makes it all the more special.”

Jane Eyre will be performed at Richmond Theatre May 31 – June 1 2016

Tickets will be on sale soon Box Office 0844 871 7651*

Picture courtesy of Isak Hoffmeyer, with thanks

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