Jane Eyre given musical makeover

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EVENT: Jane Eyre

VENUE: Hull New Theatre

REVIEW BY: Catherine Goble

You could be forgiven for thinking Hessle Theatre Company is made up with out-of-work professional actors, such is the array of talent on offer.

It is just a shame they were let down by the material they chose to enact.

Being a big fan of the Bronte sisters’ novels, I was intrigued by a musical adaptation of Jane Eyre and felt I had to go along for the experience.

I wish I hadn’t bothered. It is fair to say, it did not work.

The children playing young Jane Eyre (Naomi Awre) and Adele (Tabitha Awre) stole the show, however, and they could both very easily have long stage careers ahead of them, either with the company or professionally.

They were not fazed by the large venue or the considerable audience who had come along to see them perform. It was a delight to see so much confidence and ability in such young girls.

The company, as a whole, - and there are a whole lot of them - are clearly a highly-talented bunch of people, with great stage presence and strong singing voices, but I think their skills and time could have been put to better use in a more traditional musical setting.

The sets and costumes were also magnificent, with no expense spared for the lavish production values.

My parents, who are both keen amateur dramatists themselves, can only dream of such riches - both in terms of impressive stage dressings and numbers of willing actors.

I will definitely be going to see Hessle Theatre Company again, with new musical ‘Curtains’ lined up to be their next theatrical venture.

But I suggest they do not choose to revive Jane Eyre from the dying embers.