Jane Eyre

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Royal Man­i­toba The­atre Cen­tre To Feb. 1 Tick­ets: $25-$80 at www.mtc.mb.ca

out of five if Jane and Rochester do not cre­ate some pal­pa­ble heat from their chalkand-cheese courtship. The at­trac­tion can be hard to de­tect at first as their con­ver­sa­tions are laced with swirling un­der­cur­rents of pos­si­bil­ity. Her grave fea­tures soon come alive in his pres­ence, while his dark moods are lifted by her into a teas­ing play­ful­ness. The pale, elfin Jen­nifer Dzialoszyn­ski ra­di­ates an un­der­dog qual­ity that makes view­ers pull for her to suc­ceed in her quest to show that a woman of mod­est looks can be just as com­pelling as a beau­ti­ful one. She plays her starchy and stoic, dressed in grey through­out — a plain Jane to the end. In Jane’s bid for self-preser­va­tion, Dzialoszyn­ski re­veals the rest­less in­tel­li­gence and no-non­sense for­ti­tude that hides un­der­neath her stiff up­per lip. Campbell is swoon-wor­thy enough, thanks to his mut­ton-chop mag­netism, but more im­por­tantly, he cap­tures Rochester’s mood­i­ness. That mer­cu­rial na­ture keeps the au­di­ence won­der­ing whether he will or won’t make a move on Jane, which the book first revealed over 150 years ago. The work of the sup­port­ing cast, mostly lo­cals, is ex­cel­lent, tak­ing on up to eight roles that of­ten re­quire quick cos­tume changes back­stage. Some­times there is no time — the mail mis­tress, played to full comic im­pact by Gord Tan­ner, can be seen to be sport­ing side whiskers under her bon­net. Jeremy Walm­s­ley shows im­pres­sive range from steed to nasty John Reed. Miriam Smith’s wide spec­trum of char­ac­ters in­clude saltof-the-earth house­keeper Mrs. Fair­fax and the evil-step­mother-like aunt Mrs. Reed. Char­lene Van Bueken­hout is re­spon­si­ble for por­tray­ing a book full of char­ac­ters her­self, ev­ery one is dis­tinct and de­tailed. Ju­lia Course, an im­port mak­ing her RMTC de­but, does fine work as Rochester’s love in­ter­est Blanche, as well as “the strange, un­earthly thing” Bertha. At two hours of play­ing time with an in­ter­mis­sion, purists will lament, if not wail, at the lines and scenes dropped from the beloved book, but Beck­man and Flye suc­ceed in wring­ing most of the pas­sion, fury and pain out of Jane Eyre.

MELISSA TAIT / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Tim Campbell as Rochester and Jen­nifer Dzialoszyn­ski as Jane.

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