Jane Eyre

The latest offering from Theatre La Chapelle is a stylized period piece dramatizing Charlotte Brontë's classic novel of the same name. This is a fascinating effort by the theater company Persephone Productions that demands imagination and the suspension of disbelief. Any effort is worth it however when the audience is immersed in intense chemistry between characters and drawn into the tragic tale of Jane Eyre. Brontë's novel is brought to life o­n a minimalist set including a platform, which represents the room where Jane is incarcerated, a bench and two chairs. I will say that knowing the story of Jane Eyre beforehand is very useful but not exactly necessary. This play, thanks to the cast and crew, stands o­n its own as successful representation. The audience shares Jane's journey from a wonderfully intense child who is gradually repressed by callous adults into a stoic hollow person before finally exploding into acceptance of her true passionate nature. The struggle between individual identity and social relations is an ancient fight originally recreated, first in Brontë's novel and secondly by Persephone Productions. The play develops the inherent parallels between Jane and Rochester's crazy first wife, Bertha, to a new depth. The explicitly drawn comparison highlights the narrow confines of sanity in the mass of animal of insanity. There are o­nly eight cast members to perform three times as many characters that create the world around Jane. At times, this arrangement requires a decent amount of cooperation from the audience but it also reveals how talented some of Montreal's actors are. Glenda Braganza (Bertha) has an amazing stage presence, o­ne can feel the charismatic communication effortlessly even though she never speaks. Brain Wrench as Rochester is quixotic, commanding and captivating-for both Jane and the audience. Jean Nicolai (Jane), a graduate of the Professional Theatre Department of Dawson College, can o­nly grow into the promise of talent with further productions. Victoria Barkoff, Rebecca Croll, Stephanie Bretton, Paul Van Dyck and Gabriel Lopez are all extremely talented actors, using their skills to create multiple persons o­n stage. Director Gabrielle Soskin, has a magical touch to bring Montreal theatre to the fullest expression of life possible. The efforts of the theatrical crew must be appreciated because without them, nothing would be possible. Over all this is a wonderfully enjoyable viewing.Theatre La Chapelle @ 3700 ST. Dominique
Box Office: 514-843-7738
April 21-May 8
Wed to Sat 8:00pm, Sun matinée 2:30 (Call for various weekday matinées)
www.persephoneproducitons.org

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