Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

December 7, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 5:44 pm

Jane’s Journey, Part one…

I have begun the laborious task of transcribing several items relavant to the Jane Eyre musical. So far I have finished one interview with John Caird, which I believe has not been made available online before. It is only one segment of a program which covered the pre-Broadway opening rehearsals. The interviews include John Caird (most famous for his work on Les Miserables), Paul Gordon, Marla Schaffel (Jane Eyre), James Barbour (Mr Rochester), Mary Stout (Mrs. Fairfax), and Elizabeth de Grazia (Blanche). (Incidentally, these internet broadway database pages are in serious need of updating!).

Broadway Beat 2000 (sometime in 2000, before December 3rd).

John Caird (Additional lyrics, book, co-director): Well it is a- it is very much a woman’s work. It’s written by a woman about a woman writing the story of her own life. And so it’s- it’s a multi layered piece of work. But it is almost entirely seen from the female point of view. And, indeed, our version of it is rare in the respect that it has nine women in the cast and only five men- which is extraordinary for a Broadway musical. Ane, really, there are only two or three important male characters in the work and there are ten or twelve important female characters in the work. And Charlotte Bronte’s world is very woman-oriented. You know, she sees the world through a woman’s eyes. And as well as Jane you have Mrs Reed, Mrs Fairfax, you have Blanche Ingram the beautiful aristocrat, you have the mad woman in the attic. You know, you’ve got an extraordinary panoply of female characters to draw from.

Richard Ridge: Why do you think this story is so timeless? I mean, my eleven year old neice just read Jane Eyre. You can ask anybody and they’ll say ‘Oh yes, I know that book.’ Why do you think it has endured so much over the years?

John Caird: I think because Charlotte Bronte was a great literary and philosophical genius. And in Jane Eyre she’s written, not the story of one deprived and brutalised little girl and how she grows into a proper human being, but she’s told the story of all girls, and how they grow up to be women. It’s a quite extreme story, Jane Eyre, but any woman who remembers her childhood- and I suppose all women do- will- has something to associate themselves with Jane Eyre- that’s Jane’s journey is- Jane’s journey from early childhood to maturity as a woman.



  1. I just discovered this Broadway cast recording and enjoyed it in true Bronte-style passionately! 🙂

    Comment by frankengirl — December 12, 2005 @ 11:45 am |Reply

  2. Sorry to wait so long to reply. Things have been very hectic lately. Just discovered it? You’ll have a lot to look forward to, then 🙂 I was introduced to it just over a year ago. You meet some fun people when you meet the Jane Eyre fans! Have you ever gone to the message board for the show? I can give you the link.

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Comment by Brontëana — December 16, 2005 @ 4:27 pm |Reply

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