Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

August 27, 2005


Jane Eyre the Musical to make its UK Premiere, and the Wierd Circle.

Finally there is news about my favourite musical! Details can be found here: Jane Eyre the Musical's UK Premiere.

I've been very busy lately, preparing to return to school, but I have also been at a loss to decide exactly what to post about- there's so much to choose from. Firstly, just as July was our impromptu Villette month, August is Jane Eyre month. I usually read the novel all at once in a day, or two at most. I picked up on a lot of things that I usually gloss over while reading it slowly over the month. Probably my most interesting 'discovery' was that Helen Burns doesn't have a grave marker for a certain number of years. It seemed very odd that this time frame would be given. After thinking about it, and tallying the passage of time based on the events in the novel I believe that it's plausible to assume that Jane returned to Lowood with her son and Mr Rochester- because it would have to have been when her child was 3 years old. There might be another explaination, but I found this one intriguing!

I love to do inter-textual analysis, and so I also made a list of each and every book mentioned in the novel. 🙂 That will keep me busy for quite some time in the distant future. My wonderful friend Thisbeciel has also overwhelmed me with her Brontean bounty! I now have full texts of The Cottage Poems by Patrick Bronte! And many terrific images, and illustrations such as… This picture of the madwoman's room at Norton Conyers! I think that if I was shown such a room I'd probably write a novel as well 😉

I ALSO got to hear a strange little adaptations of Jane Eyre and of Wuthering Heights. I believe these date to the 1950s- which is even more interesting to me because I haven't been able to see any of the films of Jane Eyre from that decade (yet). The group was called Wierd Circle. Imagine, if you will, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights performed in half an hour. Does it make you smile? Yes, it was awful- but awfully funny. Jane Eyre was especially terrible and has now become the source of many jokes among my friends.

Wierd Circle Jane Eyre included such interesting elements as:
-The landscape being terrifying in and of itself.
-No Mrs. Fairfax. The housekeeper is now a Mrs. Campbell who has a really creepy voice and is always saying things like: "You think you'll be happy here? ha ha ha Really, Miss Eyre? Happy? ha ha. You'll see… yes, you'll see. Ha ha ha". That isn't a direct quote, but this is: "We've had other governesses come before but they never stayed. No. Never…" And she tells poor Adele that she's "a child of the devil".

-Mr Rochester is really not that bad. But he's a few leaves short of a chestnut tree sometimes. During his first chat with Jane he says that he has learned a lot about Jane: that she's an orphan, likes children, and that he loves her: "You're an orphan, like children, and I love you." They sort of pretend that didn't happen, because she is still surprised by his proposal! When Jane asks him why no one is allowed upstairs he replies glibly that "it saves fuel." When Jane points out how this doesn't make sense he says: "Let's say it saves fuel and go with that." When asked about the articulate voice shouting threats in the distance he says: "It's the wind". When Jane objects he replies: "Let's say it's the wind and leave it at that."

-Mrs. Campbell: "You won't be married for another three days, and there's a lot I can do in three days!"

-I will now spoil the ending. Bertha is revealled- and this part really was creepy, I must say. But it still suceeded in ruining the effect of Bertha's demonic cries and laughter. While she laughs and cries out that she likes to see death, Mr Rochester informs us that he adopted Adele because he was lonely and needed something to love- which, you know, inevitably makes me think that a cat would have probably been a better idea. And so that really ruined the moment. But it was very funny. Bertha's death is also comically undermined. Mr Rochester tells her to not jump, and we hear her do a "la la la- whoop!" and hear Jane inform us that Bertha has slipped off of the roof (Jane witnesses the fire- I forgot to say… Thornfield bursts into flames as soon as she leaves). And lastly, the framing device of Jane's diary is reintroduced. Jane is at Mr Rochester's bedside in the hospital. He's alive but IN A COMA. He's been in a coma for the last few months. And since Jane has begun to speak in a slow creepy Mrs. Campbell sort of way, we are left with the knowledge that he won't ever wake up- probably.

I know how much you must have enjoyed that- and so, next time I'll have Wierd Circle Wuthering Heights to discuss!

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