Jane Eyre, Connaught Theatre, Worthing: Brilliant production with innovative set

Blackeyed Theatre received a standing ovation from some members of the audience at the Connaught Theatre in Worthing last night, after a fantastic performance of Jane Eyre.

Camilla Simson, Kelsey Short as Jane Eyre and Eleanor Toms. Picture: Savannah Photographic
Camilla Simson, Kelsey Short as Jane Eyre and Eleanor Toms. Picture: Savannah Photographic

And richly deserved it was, too. This was a brilliant production with excellent acting and an innovative set.

Movement was all carefully choreographed and live music was interwoven to great effect.

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The technical issue of a strange buzzing through almost the entire first half was dealt with well, with Camilla Simon cleverly referencing ‘a giant fly’ buzzing around.

The entire audience was asked to leave the auditorium during the interval and the problem was resolved for the second half.

Although the noise was annoying, the performance continued with passion and commitment, so our attention was held throughout.

Kelsey Short played Jane, narrating her story in between living out the scenes. From 10-year-old to adult, she presented the different stages of Jane’s life and her many struggles.

The other four actors played multiple parts between them and Camilla was particularly impressive, with roles including Aunt Reed, Mrs Fairfax and Bertha Mason.

Ben Warwick was commanding both as Mr Brocklehurst and Edward Rochester and Eleanor Toms gave a particularly good performance as Jane’s young French charge Adele Varens, just one of her five roles.

Jane Eyre is at the Connaught Theatre in Worthing today at 2pm and 7.30pm and tomorrow at 7.30pm.