Auditions for ‘Jane Eyre’

By November 29, 2018news


This thrilling and inventive adaption of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel was first staged by Shared Experience theatre company, and is based around the concept of having Jane’s inner emotional  life represented by the presence and actions of Bertha Rochester – Mr Rochester’s first wife, who is held in secret in his home, Thornfield Hall, due to her mental instability.

Shared Experience are renowned for working in an Expressionist theatrical style, and this production requires a skilful, imaginative, and flexible company to bring the play to life.  I am looking to cast an acting company of 10 , only 3 of which will play one role; the remaining 7 actors will play at least 2 speaking roles, offering opportunities for contrasting characterisation. For the benefit of the audition process, each actor’s main role is outlined below, along with the age range of the actors I am looking for:

Jane Eyre – after an unhappy childhood, Jane becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she falls deeply in love with Mr Rochester. This is a very demanding role, as the actor is in every scene, and has to portray a wide range of emotions. She works very closely with the actor playing Bertha. Age range: 20s

Bertha Rochester – very little dialogue, but the actor is on stage for the entire play and she needs to show at times, uninhibited emotional responses to events. It requires an actor experienced in the use of expressive physical movement, so a background in contemporary dance would be helpful. Age range: 20s – 40s.

Mrs Fairfax – kindly housekeeper at Thornfield Hall, she befriends Jane, but is unaware of the secrets of her heart. The actor will also play Mrs Reed, Jane’s uncaring aunt. Age range: 40s – 50s

Adele – the young french ward of Rochester, she loves pretty things, and the attention of others. She is a young girl, and the actor will also play Helen Burns, Jane’s ill-fated childhood friend, and the adult role of Mary Rivers. Age range: late teens – 20s

Grace Poole – Bertha’s warder, rather surly and has little dialogue, but is in quite a number of scenes. The actor will also play Bessie, a servant in her aunt’s house.  Age range: 30s – 50s

Blanche Ingram – spoilt, haughty and beautiful, she has her eyes on Rochester as a future husband. The actor will also play Diana Rivers, the kindly sister of St John, and Abigail, a servant of Mrs Reed. Age range: 20s – 30s

Mr Rochester – a man of intense feelings who is haunted by his past actions, he falls passionately in love with Jane.He requires great physical presence, and the ability to be both intimidating and vulnerable. Age range: 30s – 40s

St John Rivers – earnest and austere clergyman, who takes in Jane when she runs away from  Rochester. The actor will also play Pilot, Rochester’s dog, and so some experience in physical theatre, mime, or dance may be helpful. Age range: 20s – 30s

Mr Brocklehurst – severe and sanctimonious owner of the school which Jane attends as a child. The actor will also play Lord Ingram, Blanche’s indulgent father, and the clergyman conducting Jane and Rochester’s ill-fated wedding service. Age range: 40s – 60s

Richard Mason – well-meaning brother of Bertha, he travels from his native home in the West Indies to Thornfield Hall to see his sister, and to play a significant part in the wedding day of Jane and Rochester. The actor will also play Jane’s bullying childhood cousin John Reed, and in one scene, Rochester’s horse!  Age range: 30s – 40s

There are other parts which have a few lines of dialogue in different scenes. These will be played by members of the acting company, with the exception of the 3 main protagonists – namely, Jane, Bertha and Rochester.

PARTS ARE OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS – please do try and read the play before the auditions, which will also involve some physical activity ( scripts available from the theatre’s office). 
I hope to start rehearsals the end of February, and this will include Sunday afternoon rehearsals.  It is worth noting that the final week of rehearsals will take place during Easter Bank Holiday week, as Easter Day falls on 21 April.

Should you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 07591 219230 or at

Jo Jones

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