Jane Eyre comes home to West Yorkshire

The National Theatre's production of Jane Eyre will be at Leeds Grand Theatre at the end of the month.
The National Theatre's production of Jane Eyre will be at Leeds Grand Theatre at the end of the month.
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Following a critically acclaimed season at the National Theatre, a Brontë masterpiece will be coming to Leeds Grand Theatre later this month.

Sally Cookson’s energetic and imaginative new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre will run at the theatre from July 31 for one week only.

In the year that marks the 170th anniversary of the first publication of Jane Eyre, this highly acclaimed co-production between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic will feature Nadia Clifford as Jane and Tim Delap as Rochester.

Charlotte Brontë’s story of the trailblazing Jane is as inspiring as ever. From her beginnings as a destitute orphan, Jane Eyre’s spirited heroine faces life’s obstacles head-on, surviving poverty, injustice and the discovery of bitter betrayal before taking the ultimate decision to follow her heart.

Director Sally Cookson said: ‘Adapting a novel for the stage is a challenging prospect - especially when that novel is cited as many people’s favourite of all time. It is always daunting when you’re working on a story which everyone knows so well because you want to surprise and maybe challenge people’s expectations without losing any of the things which make them like the story in the first place.

“I didn’t actually read the novel until I was in my early twenties and I remember thinking while I read it: ‘this is a clarion cry for equal opportunities for women, not a story about a passive female who will do anything for her hunky boss.’ I was struck by how modern Jane seemed - her spirit and strong will, her peculiar and brilliant mind striving for personal freedom to be who she is, lashing out against any constraint that prevents her from being herself. She was exactly the sort of person I wanted to be.”

Originally presented in two parts at Bristol Old Vic, Jane Eyre was re-imagined as a single performance when it transferred to the National Theatre. The UK-wide tour will run until September when it will end in Hull as part of the City of Culture programme.

www.leedsgrandtheatre.co.uk