IF the off-stage chemistry between the two actors follows them on stage then theatre-goers are in for a huge treat with the Octagon’s production of the classic novel Jane Eyre.

Jessica Baglow and Michael Peavoy take the lead roles in Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece which opens at the theatre in just under two weeks.

The cast completed their first run through of the play on Tuesday with Michael, who plays the Byronic Rochester, and Jessica, who takes the part of Jane, the revolutionary 19th century heroine, saying audiences will enjoy an epic adaptation of the ‘rich and stunning’ novel.

Jessica said: “They will see an epic tale distilled into a theatre production.

"There is a lot of passion and she is a passionate Jane Eyre, as she is in the book and it is a wonderful ensemble and everybody is amazing in our company."

Michael, who audiences saw take the role of Gilbert Markham in another Bronte classic, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, said: "Rehearsals have gone really well. It is always exciting doing your first run through.

"I think it is really hard to distil a novel that is as rich and epic as it is and its stunning, but what you can’t do is every single page on stage because that’s an audio book, but you really have to condense everything into the principal drama of the story.

"We’ve read the novel so they don’t have to. People should read the book but you don’t have to know the book or have the read the book.

"What we have managed to do and what I think Jess does amazingly is to distil two or three lines of conversation which we have on the script and behind all of that is a chapter’s worth of text and that’s the challenge."

For Jessica playing the part of a great literary heroine was something she could not turn down.

In fact in 2015, director Elizabeth Newman gave her a copy of the book for her birthday, which she has brought to rehearsals.

She said: "It is exciting bit of pressure I suppose. I thought you have to do it because it is Jane Eyre.

"Elizabeth Newman bought me a copy of the book

"I didn’t know then I would play Jane Eyre."

Michael said: "I knew that Jess was playing Jane Eyre we had just done the monologues. I remember watching Jess and just being like on my good god this woman is incredible. The opportunity to work with Elizabeth who I think is the most exceptional director I have worked with and Jess, who was just this incredible fierce performer, I was completely just blown away and I was like put those two together and to give me the opportunity to play someone like Rochester how would you say no. It is what Bronte would have wanted two amazingly strong powerful women fighting the good fight against structure."

He added: "We have got an amazing company we are challenging each other to be good and be better and helping one another."

For this production audiences will see the stage used in a different way.

"We are using the space as it has never been done before to excite and delight the Bolton audience, if you want to know more come and see it," said Jessica.

Michael added: "There is an element to the production that has never been done in this building before.

"It is exciting because it adds a new dimension to the space which has previously been unexplored and the only way to find out is to turn up.

"It’s going to be great."