Edinburgh Fringe, Jane Eyre and more

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<p><figcaption class=Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

jane eyre

“I was struck by his spirit and strong will, his peculiar and brilliant mind. She attacks everything that prevents her from being herself. I just thought: wow, I would love to be someone like that!” That’s what visionary director Sally Cookson felt when she read Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and her impressive staging of the novel features an equally inspiring lead performance by Madeleine Worrall. The co-production by Bristol Old Vic and the National Theater joins the NT at Home catalogue.

edinburgh fringe

The world’s largest arts festival is back and celebrating its 75th anniversary with over 3,000 productions in the city. Fortunately, there are some online as well, including shows about an accidental astronaut, the lives of Paul Robeson and environmentalist Rachel Carson, the French Revolution, and Shakespeare played by immigrant actors. Meanwhile, Next Up Comedy features more than 50 live streams from the festival, including sets from Esther Manito, Yuriko Kotani and Christopher Bliss. The strip goes from August 5 to 29; the full list of online theater shows can be found here.

volume tones

The National Youth Dance Company’s tour of Alesandra Seutin’s Quartier Paradis comes to Sadler’s Wells in September. But before that, you can watch the NYDC movie from Seutin’s Speak Volumes. Directed by Ben Williams, it takes place in the corridors, classrooms and playgrounds of a disused school. Thanks to some startling close-ups and lyrical storytelling, it packs an impact even before Seutin’s team makes the first moves on her failed uprising. Get ready for a sinister version of Simon Says.

Heda (after Ibsen)

Writer/director Jen Heyes and composer Tom Parkinson’s sidelong glance at Hedda Gabler finds Ibsen’s 19th-century heroine facing off against the great Norwegian playwright, dissatisfied with the limited life she has been written for. David Hoyle delivers a seductive, deadpan Hedda, sometimes through song, in a trenchant, stylishly captured performance which is available from Soho Theater on Demand until 30 September.

The system

The Inbetweeners’ Emily Head plays all the parts in her own play, a whodunit after a birthday party where the host has been murdered. The ambitious Original Theater Company production, directed by Guy Unsworth, was recorded live in one take on stage at New Wolsey in Ipswich and is followed by a question and answer session with the writer and performer. Available until August 31.

summer shorts

Subscription service Marquee TV presents its third annual festival of free dance, theater and music short films, one for each day of the month. Drew Jacoby choreographed 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 Aare River in Bern, Switzerland; and there are a handful of Gauthier dance company The Dying Swans Project films, each responding to Mikhail Fokine’s 1907 solo piece for Anna Pavlova.


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


When Cicely Tyson died last year, she was rightly praised as an accomplished actress and a mentor to many stars, including Vanessa Williams, who called her “incredible and inspiring.” In 1971, Tyson starred in a television adaptation of Arkady Leokum’s play Neighbors, which explores similar themes to Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park as it follows a black couple planning to move to a predominantly white suburban neighborhood. It is one of many stage 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 Matthaus.

The house that Jackson built

Meet the mysterious Jackson, a traveling, wagon-pulling story man who takes the stage in Justin Coe’s one-man show. A captivating artist, Coe celebrates the thrill of getting lost in a library, at a time when they themselves are lost in the midst of great clippings. Jackson’s story of growing up a bookworm in a clifftop house with his father, the words “flittering like birds in my brain,” is told with charming rhyming verses and a large pop-up book design. size. For audiences ages 4-10, this is one of several Half Moon Theater on-demand shows to entertain and inspire during the summer holidays.

What the Constitution means to me

For more than a dozen years, Heidi Schreck’s evergreen program on 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, their meanings may change again,” Alexis Soloski observed in our own 2019 Broadway review. And, of course, Schreck’s account of how America’s supreme law has failed. women for generations hits even harder now. after the annulment of Roe v Wade. Available to stream from Amazon Prime.

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