Jane Eyre, Shared Experience Theatre Company

Jane Eyre, Shared Experience Theatre Company

This dramatised version of Charlotte Brontë's novel was adapted by Polly Teale and devised by the experimental Shared Experience Theatre Company with Penny Layden as Jane and Sean Murray as Mr Rochester. Initially produced at the Young Vic in 1997, it was so successful that it transferred to the West End in 1999. Neil Warmington's set was stark and representational, featuring a charred, fragmented staircase. This was used to suggest both the entrance to the attic where the first Mrs Rochester (who was said to be mad) was secretly kept by her husband and the room where the young Jane was imprisoned as a child. This production suggested that the woman in the attic was the alter ego of Jane, and that the rampant uncontrolled woman at the top of the stairs was the repressed side of the reserved Victorian woman Jane Eyre.