Have you read a book and then watched the movie or theatre adaptation and felt disappointed? I know I have, because if I’ve enjoyed the book I really don’t want the filmmakers to make changes. One in particular I always remember was Under the Tuscan Sun. I loved the book and looked forward to seeing the movie only to find that the ending was completely different – I felt let down!
Another example was My Sister’s Keeper by Jodie Picoult. I absolutely loved the book and literally ‘gasped’ when I read the ending. It was completely unexpected. I then watched the movie with my husband, ensuring him it was worth the wait but to my utter disappointment the ending was changed and certainly did not have the impact of the final scenes in the book
So when a dear friend asked if I would like to see Jane Eyre at the QPAC theatre in Brisbane I readily agreed however was a little sceptical. Would the play live up to the book?
Jane Eyre presented by the shake and stir theatre company
shake and stir theatre company is widely acknowledged as a leading national touring theatre company in Australia.
Held in the Cremorne Theatre of QPAC provided an intimate atmosphere and closer access to the actors. We walked into the theatre and from the beginning the Gothic, dark theme was set. We we warned to watch our step as the theater was dark. Finding out seats we immediately felt we were in Thornton Hall with Jane and the feeling of desolation she must have felt. There were only four actors – Nelle Lee played Jane and the other three actors Julian Garner, Jodie Le Vesconte, Sarah McLeod played different characters from the book.
The stage setting was simple, stark and the scenes with fire were exceptional and the use of lighting was excellent adding another dimension. As one reviewer wrote:
an aesthetically complex and yet functional stage composed of a vertical black scaffolding with multiple levels for the action to unfold. The several levels allow for an easy change of scene and for the actors to smoothly shift into a different character.ArtsHub
Original music performed on stage my multi ARIA award winner and actor Sarah McLeod added to the intensity and drama. The play is just over 2 hours long plus a short intermission. The production skillfully covers the whole story well despite the length.
So to my original question: When a novel is transformed into a play – does it work?
On this occasion for me – YES IT DOES!!
My fellow bookclubber and I both picked up on things we had missed in the book, even during our Book Club discussions. My other friend, had not read the book but was completely enthralled and understood the story.
I came away feeling a deeper connection with Jane, having read the book and then seen the play. I believe the performance was true to Charlotte’s work and I’m sure she would have been very happy with the result.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, we completed all the Brontë Sisters novels and are now studying Jane Austen. Our first book, Persuasian was a delight and we have moved onto a favourite of many – Pride and Prejudice. Unfortunately, life has interrupted in various ways and we had to postpone our first Book Club discussion. I’m looking forward to when we meet to discuss this popular classic. (I also loved the movie especially with Colin Firth as Mr Darcy)
I was also delighted to receive this lovely surprise gift from my cousin which I’ve just glimpsed through but eager to explore.
What have you been reading lately? Why not join us at What’s On Your Bookshelf and share it with us? You can link up your post below.
Donna, Jo, Debbie and I are delighted to co-host What’s On Your Bookshelf? Link Up. To join us and share what you have been reading, you can share in the comments, pingback with your own post, or use the handy InLInkz bar below. Please be sure to tag #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge. We look forward to hearing your thoughts as well as your book suggestions!