Literary heroine Jane Eyre brought to life in dance

Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre, a ballet by Cathy Marston. Photo Emma Kauldhar
Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre, a ballet by Cathy Marston. Photo Emma Kauldhar

One of the world’s great literary heroines will leap from the page to the stage when the Northern Ballet brings Jane Eyre to the Grand Opera House in Belfast next week.

Based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë, Northern Ballet will bring this beautiful love story to life in for the first time in the city, with performances at the Grand Opera House from April 4-7.

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. The ultimate dramatic tale of romance, jealousy and dark secrets, Jane Eyre is the story of one woman’s indomitable spirit overcoming all boundaries.

One of the company’s Leading Soloists, Dreda Blow, who has been with the Northern Ballet for 11 years, will be stepping into the role of Jane, and she admits that bringing the formidable character to life has been challenging, both physically and emotionally.

“Dancing Jane is exciting but a little bit exhausting,” revealed Dreda. “I play the grown up Jane and from then on I am on the stage pretty much the whole time.

“Physically, of course, it is very demanding but it is emotionally very taxing and requires a great deal of concentration. Jane has so many layers to her. There is what is going on inside her and what she decides to show. There are moments you need the audience to understand what is going on inside but you don’t want the characters on stage to know. It is harder than any other ballet I have done because there is so much to portray.”

The Northern Ballet are no strangers to Belfast, having staged numerous shows at the Grand Opera House, including, memorably, Cinderella and The Great Gatsby. Dreda has family ties in the Province so she is particularly looking forward to the return visit.

“My mum has cousins in Moira so they will be coming to see the show,” she added.

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, from www.goh.co.uk or the Box Office on 028 9024 1919.