My wife and I were not in the right frame of mind today and so a trip to the theatre this afternoon was neither top of our priorities nor particularly anticipated; but we’d bought the tickets.
I have two theatre mind sets. Amateur and professional. And it always disappoints me that professional theatre doesn’t get the emotional response that Amateur does.
That changed today with a standing ovation at The Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.
For this is a show that astounds in every way. Sound, light, scenery, performance, music, movement and, above all else, direction.
We have a new superstar in British theatrical direction.
She is named Sally Cookson and she is miraculous.
Well, I say new, she’s been directing for Bristol Old Vic for over a decade. But I knew her not.
This production is mouthwatering. It’s eyeballing. It is superb.
It brings a degree of women’s lib to a book (that I have not read) that is compelling and meaningful. Maybe Bronte meant it that way Maybe Cookson just saw it that way. Anyway it’s fucking brilliant.
Three hours that pass in a nanosecond.
The music, which draws from Penguin Cafe sequence style at one moment, to jazz at another and pop in a third is gobsmacking.
The sound design helps.
I wept at the the last line. “It’s a girl.” Five times.
That is not a spoiler, but when you see it I hope you too are reduced to pulp.
My wife and I agree on much, disagree on many things, but both of us said (in a state of heightened emotion as we left the Festival Theatre) “that was the best experience I have ever had in a (professional) theatre.”
We will be going again to see it in Glasgow and I urge you to do likewise.