Jane Eyre


Show Credits: Book by John Caird
Music and Lyrics by Paul Gordon
Additional Lyrics by John Caird

Charlotte Bronte's great love story comes to life with music to lift your heart and set your spirit soaring. This beloved tale of secrets and the lies that secrets create, of unimaginable hope and unspoken passion, reminds us what it is to fall deeply, truly and completely in love. Nominated for five Tony Awards, Jane Eyre explores religion, sexuality and protofeminism, all while enchanting audiences with a timeless love story.

Jane's story begins in Gateshead, where she is in the unfortunate care of her cruel Aunt Sarah and cousin John, as per her uncle's dying wish. The miserable young orphan is finally rescued when she is sent away to attend Lowood School for Girls. After six years, Jane leaves Lowood and is shortly after hired as a governess at Thornfield Hall. Here she meets Mr. Edward Rochester, thus beginning her passionate and heart-wrenching journey of love, loss and the struggles of morality.

This intellectual period drama is a wonderful work of theatre. It provides an opportunity for the classically trained voice, not to mention an excellent chance for all aspects of technical theatre to bring this masterful piece to life.

Insight from the experts Staging Tip: The action is set in England in the 1820s at Gateshead Hall, Lowood School, Thornfiled Hall and the surronding moors of North Yorkshire.

The scenes change regularly as the story progresses so a design solution that is swiftly and sliently adaptable is essential. The drama must not be obliged to stop in order to accomodate heavy scenic devices.

Lighting can obviously be an enormous help in the establishment of atmosphere and location as can the careful use of sound efects - the moorland wind and the wild birds of the English countryside being particularly apposite.

The Ensemble of actors can be used imaginatively in the creation of the settings. Jane herself narrates the drama while the story concerns her life as a little girl - YOUNG JANE - but as soon as she grows up the ENSEMBLE take over her narrative role and can therefore be used throughout the performance to help in creating the physical environment for the story when they are not engaged in playing the other characters.

Jane Eyre can be performed by 9 women, 5 men and 3 children, or more if greater numbers are artistically desired or professionally necessary. The following character list can therefore be doubled according to the numbers and talents of the available performers. It can be seen from the original Broadway cast list how we managed it there, but new producers and directors should by no means be constrained by our method. The lines in the script designated for the Ensemble should be divided up amongst the available cast members according to the vocal suitability and character availability - the actress playing the part of Jane not included. If more child performers can be afforded then more should be employed. 20 or 30 schoolgirls at Lowood would make a wonderful impression on the audience and give the child performers themselves the experience of a lifetime, though the backstage areas would be a lot more chaotic.

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