Edinburgh fringe, Jane Eyre and more

<span>Photo: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian</span>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/owWEezb6mwvKnH7VE1H6Xg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/IRPCogOltcMeVI9mVoEgyw- -~B/aD02MDA7dz0xMDAwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/eae89eb0780c6fce1c4922b67a108802″ data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/owWEezb6mwvKnH7VE1H6Xg–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng –/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/IRPCogOltcMeVI9mVoEgyw–~B/aD02MDA7dz0xMDAwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/eae89eb0780c6fce1c4922b67a108802″/></div>
<p><figcaption class=Photo: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

Jane Eyre

“I was struck by her spirit and strong will, her distinctive and brilliant mind. She lashes out at everything that prevents her from being herself. I just thought: wow, I’d like to be like that!” That’s what visionary director Sally Cookson felt when she read Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre – and her stunning staging of the novel boasts an equally inspiring lead role by Madeleine Worrall. The Bristol Old Vic and National Theatre’s co-production has been added to the catalog of NT at Home.

Edinburgh outskirts

The world’s largest art jamboree is back, celebrating its 75th anniversary with more than 3,000 productions around the city. Fortunately, there are quite a few online too, including shows about an accidental astronaut, the lives of Paul Robeson and environmentalist Rachel Carson, the French Revolution and Shakespeare performed by migrant actors. Meanwhile, Next Up Comedy is hosting more than 50 live streams from the festival, including sets by Esther Manito, Yuriko Kotani and Christopher Bliss. The Fringe runs August 5-29; the full list of online theater performances can be found here.

Speak volume

The National Youth Dance Company’s tour of Alesandra Seutin’s Quartier Paradis reaches Sadler’s Wells in September. But before then, you can watch NYDC’s film of Seutin’s Speak Volumes. Directed by Ben Williams, it takes place in the eerie, otherwise empty corridors, classrooms and playground of a disused school. Thanks to some startling close-ups and lyrical narration, it packs a punch even before Seutin’s crew make the first moves in the glittering rebellion. Stand by for a spooky rendition of Simon Says.

Hedda (after Ibsen)

Writer-director Jen Heyes and composer Tom Parkinson’s sideways look at Hedda Gabler finds Ibsen’s 19th-century heroine at odds with the great Norwegian playwright, dissatisfied with the limited life she has been written about. David Hoyle gives us a seductive, deadpan Hedda, sometimes through song, in a sharp and stylishly captured performance available at Soho Theater on Demand until 30 September.

The system

The Inbetweeners’ Emily Head performs all the roles in her own play, a whodunnit in the aftermath of a birthday party where the host has been murdered. The Original Theater Company’s ambitious production, directed by Guy Unsworth, was recorded live in one take on stage at the New Wolsey in Ipswich and is followed by a Q&A with the writer-performer. Available until August 31.

Summer shorts

Subscription service Marquee TV unveils its third annual festival of free short dance, theater and music films, one for each day of the month. Drew Jacoby choreographs Evidence of It All, written by librettist Royce Vavrek and narrated by Rosamund Pike; Drift finds choreographer Cathy Marston performing her own improvisation on the banks of the River Aare in Bern, Switzerland; and there are a handful of films from Gauthier’s dance company The Dying Swans Project, each responding to Mikhail Fokine’s 1907 solo work for Anna Pavlova.


The prolific Ringham brothers have brought their expert ears to stage productions around the UK, creating sound designs whose moods linger long after the curtain comes down. Now they are collaborating with playwright Dan Rebellato on their first audio drama for the BBC. It’s a thriller starring Gina McKee as a forensic analyst who uses sound to solve mysteries. Shvorne Marks plays her trainee and there is also a role for Fenella Woolgar. The series is broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 4 from Friday 19 August and also on BBC Sounds.


When Cicely Tyson died last year, she was rightly hailed as a consummate actress and mentor to many stars, including Vanessa Williams who called her “incredible and inspirational”. In 1971, Tyson starred in a television adaptation of Arkady Leokum’s play Neighbors, which explores similar themes to Bruce Norris’s later Clybourne Park, as it follows a black couple planning to move into a predominantly white suburban neighborhood. It is one of many theatrical adaptations on Marquee TV, along with Death of a Salesman with Lee J Cobb, The Glass Menagerie with Katharine Hepburn and Awake and Sing! with Walter Matthau.

The House That Jackson Built

Meet the mysterious Jackson, a traveling, cart-pulling man of stories, who holds the stage in Justin Coe’s one-man show. A captivating performer, Coe celebrates the thrill of losing yourself in a library – at a time when they are being lost even amid major cutbacks. Jackson’s story of growing up as a bookworm in a home on a cliff with his father, the words “flitting like birds in my brain”, is told with gorgeous rhyming couplets and a super-sized pop-up set design. For audiences aged four to 10, this is one of several on-demand shows from the Half Moon Theater to entertain and inspire during the summer holidays.

What the constitution means to me

For more than a dozen years, Heidi Schreck’s evergreen show about the US Constitution has taken on new nuances in every political climate. Every time she does it again “the world has changed,” she says on the show. “Next week, next month, its meanings could change again,” observed Alexis Soloski in our own Broadway review back in 2019. And indeed, Schreck’s account of how the supreme law of the United States has failed women for generations hits all the harder now after the overturning of Roe v Wade. Available for streaming from Amazon Prime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *