Posted by & filed under Theatre & Performance.

In the Australian premiere of stage production Jane Eyre, the gothic Thornfield Hall comes to Sydney’s vibrant Oxford Street. I caught up with director and NIDA graduate Fiona Pulbrock about the much-loved and influential feminist text.

Have you always been a Jane Eyre fan?

When I read the book at eight years old I loved the mystery of what was in the attic but when I reread it I found the psychology of each of the characters absolutely riveting.

Why do you think people love this story? What makes it a classic?

This is a story of strong emotions which we can all relate to such as anger, jealousy, love, lust and happiness. Jane is so strong and passionate about standing up to each of the difficult circumstances in her life. Also, the fantasy of a tall, dark, charismatic stranger has always been enticing.

What is the appeal of Mr Rochester?

He’s a mysterious man – damaged and brooding with a secret. A sensitive bad boy with a big black stallion who’s rich and has lived a full life, travelling, socialising and trying to escape his dark past all the while hoping he’ll find love. But I think what’s really appealing is he’s very sensitive underneath the hard shell and becomes so mysteriously obsessed by Jane – he really embodies the Byronic romantic hero.

What themes are relevant today?

I think Jane’s journey and goal to be respected and to express herself freely are still current in today’s society. The theme of underdog making good especially against all odds is always going to be relevant regardless of what time we are living in.

Jun 21-Jul 14, District 01, Cnr of Oxford St & Crown St, Surry Hills, $25-35, 1300 438 849,