Jayne Eyre at the Mayflower, Southampton

The Highly Acclaimed National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic production based on the classic English literature masterpiece ‘Jayne Eyre’ written by Charlotte Bronte is stopping in the fantastic Mayflower Theatre, Southampton running from the 9th of May – 13th of May. I was very kindly invited along with Sotonbloggers to see it’s opening night*. If you are a fan of the theatre and this classic tale of a young girls journey through all her trials and tribulations through life then I urge you to buy tickets as its not here for long…

I am going to put my hands up and admit I was a bit dubious about watching this production as I am a musical girl at heart and I haven’t actually read the book, although I am familiar with the story and did a little research before watching. Its not my usual choice for a night out at the theatre. I did go thinking it would be quite boring… How I was wrong! The timeless story was told in such a fresh, modern way with a very small but outstanding cast beaming with talent.

The stage was what I can only describe as a wooden jungle gym, very basic. But through the use of psychical theatre, strong use of the limited props, sounds and  effective lighting on the drapes, the cast managed to grip the whole audience from the very start when Jayne Eyre was born. I was shocked when the stage caught a light, I almost thought the mayflower was about to go up in flames until I realised it was all part of the set – it was such a great visual and something I’ve not seen at the theatre before.

I was shocked that there was songs in this show, but Melanie Marshall who played the crazy lady in the attack/Bertha blew me away with her creepy/ery singing, it was so effective in the progression of the story and I loved her rendition of ‘Crazy’. You don’t see much of this character but when you do she captures your attention immediately in her bright red dress and beautiful voice. As I said I had not read the book before so wasn’t sure what the point in this lady singing on the stage was all about, until the lady in the attick is revealed and I was blown away.

Nadia Clifford was an incredible Jayne. You watch her grow from the unhappy, mistreated child into an inspiring, passionate, heroic, woman. You see the struggles and fight she goes through in life. Clifford captivated the audience from the offset and portrayed Jayne in such a powerful way.

I loved the messages that this story tells, it’s a really moving, inspiring story about suffering, the fight for freedom, going after your dreams and following your heart. After watching this show, I’ve fallen in love with the story and would completely recommend this to any theatre lovers out there.

You can buy tickets online here or phone the box office on 0238020711811

Anna x

*tickets and press photos gifted from the Mayflower Theatre for review purposes.

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