In Events

Photo Credit: Emma Kauldhar

Join one of literature’s most iconic heroines on a journey of courage, romance and tragedy with Northern Ballet’s Jane Eyre. Based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë, Northern Ballet will bring this beautiful love story to life in Salford for the first time with performances at The Lowry from 6 – 9 June 2018.

Northern Ballet spoke with the choreographer Cathy Marston and Leading Soloist Hannah Bateman about the ballet.

Why did you choose the story of Jane Eyre?

Cathy Marston: “David approached me and asked me if I would be interested in creating a Jane Eyre for the company. I don’t know why we’d not thought of that before because it seems such an obvious choice for me and Northern Ballet. Jayne Eyre is one of those characters, as is Rochester, that are both narrative and full of human detail but also archetypal and almost mythological in Rochester’s case. It was very much up my street so I was thrilled by the offer"

What can we expect from your version of the story?

Cathy Marston:“I’ve said to a few people there’s so many ballets that you could make on Jane Eyre and I wasn’t so interested in the social reading or religious themes but rather in the story of Jane herself, the love story with Rochester, but also the feminist reading and I wanted to acknowledge and touch on that.”

How did you decide on the music?

Cathy Marston: “We wanted to use music from the time that would have been contemporary  to the Brontë’s and Jane Eyre but there’s not much written for that ensemble so, Philip Feeney and I sourced piano pieces and a string quartet, that we didn’t end up using, by Fanny Mendelssohn. Fanny Mendelssohn was Felix Mendelssohn’s Sister and was pretty much cotemporary to the Brontë’s and therefore Jane Eyre. It felt appropriate to use a female composer to give the main themes to the piece. Around that we’ve also brought in Schubert. Schubert would have come earlier than the novel but that felt appropriate for the scenes with Rochester and Thornfield that were perhaps a bit stuck in the past. Phillip has orchestrated the music and he’s written some new pieces as well. So, it feels both of the time and references when in time Jane Eyre was written but it feels contemporary to us as well."

What can I expect if I’ve never been to a ballet before?

Hannah Bateman: “If you are coming to the ballet for the first time and Jane Eyre happens to be the first ballet you’ve seen my best advice would be to sit back and relax and just watch, there is no right or wrong there isn’t a test at the end of the show to check you’ve understood it. It’s there being performed live for you and it’s whatever you take away from it. That’s the beauty of live work you’ll be there in the audience and hopefully you will feed off the energy that the performers give you. Hopefully, you will get taken away with the live music and all of the different elements that make live theatre so special.”

Can you give a brief overview of the story?

Orphaned at a young age and cruelly treated by her Aunt, Jane Eyre is a plain but intelligent child who grows up knowing little kindness. Sent away to a charitable school, Jane later accepts a position as a Governess at Thornfield, a gentleman’s manor whose master is the dark and impassioned Mr Rochester. In spite of their social differences, an unlikely bond grows between the pair but as their romance develops, it becomes clear that Mr Rochester has a hidden past that threatens to ruin them both. The ultimate dramatic tale of romance, jealousy and dark secrets, Jane Eyre is the story of one woman’s indomitable spirit overcoming all boundaries.

Join Northern Ballet for this beautifully timeless tale told through the Company’s unique blend of classical ballet and drama. Tickets are on sale now, to book visit or call the Box Office on 0843 208 6000.


Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre
Shadow image of a woman romantic looking

With choreography by Cathy Marston, and music played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia, Northern Ballet’s brilliant dance actors will bring this ultimate tale of romance, jealousy and dark secrets to life.



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