The countdown has begun for Harrogate Dramatic Society’s production of Jane Eyre on the main stage of Harrogate Theatre later this month.
Cast in the lead roles will be 19-year-old Natasha Davidson as the orphan Jane and Dermot Hill as the brooding, passionate master of Thornfield Hall, Edward Fairfax Rochester.
While Natasha will be undertaking her first major role with the society, Dermot is a familiar face with Harrogate audiences. In recent times he took the part of Henry Higgins in the society's production of Pygmalion and gave a memorable performance as Officer Crabtree in ‘Allo ‘Allo.
With a cast of 21 playing 42 parts, it’s a big challenge for the co-directors Sue Rawson and Judith Howe as well as the cast and the creative backstage team.
The classic story, described as a “Gothic masterpiece of tempestuous passions and dark secrets” has been required reading since Charlotte Bronte’s book was published in 1847.
Now Harrogate audiences get the chance to witness a spectacular modern treatment of the story in a stage adaptation by Willis Hall.
Charlotte Brontë’s seminal work has been adapted countless times for film and television as well as for the theatre, and has been turned into at least two full-length operas.
It’s also been the subject of several reinterpretations and rewritings including a ballet adaptation premiered by Northern Ballet at the Cast Theatre in Doncaster.
The story is of a young orphan Jane who finds employment as a governess to the young ward of Mr Rochester, the master of Thornfield Hall.
Jane’s feelings for Mr Rochester begin to develop into more than one of a simply servant-employer relationship until she discovers a terrible secret.
He already has a wife; a woman incarcerated in the attic of the Hall, condemned as the “Mad Woman of Thornfield Hall”.
Jane is forced to make a choice.
Should she stay with Rochester and live with the consequences or should she follow her convictions even if it means leaving the man she loves?
It’s an intensely powerful story told in inventive fashion by the team from Harrogate Dramatic Society.
Jane Eyre is on the main stage of Harrogate Theatre for four performances from Thursday October 24 and runs until Saturday October 26, daily at7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.
Tickets are available on-line at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or direct from the box office: 01423 502116.