The play tells the life story of novelist Jean Rhys, whose novel “Wide Sargasso Sea” was a prequel to “Jane Eyre,” providing a sympathetic portrait of Mr. Rochester's mad wife in the attic. Staged by Shared Experience, After Mrs. Rochester explores Jean Rhys' character through her life, her work and her obsession with Charlotte Bronte's first Mrs. Rochester in “Jane Eyre.”
Born in Dominica in the West Indies, the daughter of a white Creole mother, Jean Rhys was sent to England when she was 16. In Paris she met novelist Ford Maddox Ford, who encouraged her to write. She published several novels and short stories between 1927 and 1939, during which time she returned to England. For the next 25 years she disappeared from public view until “Wide Sargasso Sea,” widely acknowledged as one of the works of genius of the twentieth century, was published in 1966.
After Mrs. Rochester stars Diana Quick and Madeleine Potter as the older and younger Jean Rhys. The play is written and directed by Polly Teale, designed by Angela Davies with lighting by Chris Davey and music by Howard Davidson. The movement director is Leah Hausman.