Jane is an all-femxle outdoor show about Jane Morris. Jane was an embroiderer and muse for many artists, most namely William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti during the 19th century. Three identical Janes in larger than life blue skirts-come-puppets (inspired by Rossetti’s painting ‘The Blue Silk Dress’) present different sides of her personality using dance and puppetry skills.
This new family show is mesmerising, picturesque and detailed, lighting up any space it inhabits. With music from 19th century composers such as Claude Debussy combined with contemporary music.
She encompassed the Pre-Raphaelite ideals of beauty, which led to her being an artist’s model, when Rosetti spotted her. Coming from a very poor working-class background Jane found herself moving up the social classes with scholarships for private education and a theatre school. She was an activist and supporter of Irish Home Rule and it is well documented that she had many lovers whilst being married to William Morris.
The piece explores the female experience in different eras and delves into Jane’s life. The performers embody the feeling of being observed, gazed upon and objectified by men. Jane influenced many women with her fashion and beauty and was often called ‘a walking piece of art’. Quiet in nature, her unusual beauty became desired by men and women alike. Is this different to today’s pin ups?