“Bertha – the other love story” opens in NYC.
Based on the 17th century novel “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë "Bertha tells the story of the other woman, the mad woman Bertha – Rochester’s first wife. It plays for a limited time in New York plus one performance in Washington DC during April.
If you’re in New York, don’t miss “Bertha – the other love story”, which will play at the Cherry Lane Theatre April 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. Fia Adler Sandblad and director Sören Larsson of the Göteborg theater company larssons & ADAS teater will then take their play to Washington where they will perform it at House of Sweden on April 29.
The 17th century novel “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë is one of the greatest literary love stories, telling the tale of the love between the poor governess Jane and the landlord Edmund Rochester. But hidden in the attic is the other woman, the mad woman Bertha – Rochester’s first wife.
The little theater company larssons & ADAS teater is run by director Sören Larsson and actress/playwright Fia Adler Sandblad out of a small studio in Göteborg. Sören and Fia began their project “Bertha – the other love story” a long time ago, and are now taking it to the Big Apple.
“We like to work slowly, we give ourselves a lot of time,” says Fia. “It’s what we’re about – getting deeper into the art of theater and acting, awakening the imagination of the audience. Everybody knows the traditional love story in ‘Jane Eyre’, but who is the woman locked up in the attic? The one who cannot or will not participate in the social game? Who is she? How do we deal with love and longings for love? How can love be transformed into disdain? ”
Sören trained with the famous Polish theater director and innovator Jerzy Grotowski and Fia studied acting in London and France.
“Then I came to New York in 2003 and absolutely fell in love with the city,” she says. “The atmosphere, the energy… I went and saw a play at the Cherry Lane Theater and thought I would love to do something there.”
With “Bertha”, she and Sören felt they had a chance. It was a play they both felt strongly about, and they had successfully shown in Göteborg in Swedish. Why not try it in English?
“It’s a one-woman show, and we received the English translation in December last year and then played it in English in Göteborg for awhile, just to get used to the language,” Sören says.
The language proved not to be a hindrance, the opposite rather.
“Doing it in English opened doors,” explains Fia. “It was great, because with acting you really have to go beyond.”
With help from the Swedish Consulate General in New York, Kulturrådet, and Konstnärsnämnden, Fia and Sören were able to come to New York to present their play.
“We were invited by the Cherry Lane Theater, which I so love, and we’re so happy to be here,” says Fia
Who is the play for then? And why go and see it?
“It’s a play for anyone who wants to be surprised,” says Sören. “It’s very unexpected, it will get your imagination going, it will make you think, and of course it has a great actress in it! And also, for us it’s very important to get a good contact with the audience.”
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