A DOLL’S HOUSE

Henrik Ibsen

Translated, Designed and Directed by Terje Tveit
Lighting Design by Finnuala McNulty

New End Theatre

16 April – 05 May 2002

Cast

Sarah Head Nora Helmer
Tom Peters Torvald Helmer
Juliet Fitzgerald Kristina Linde
Graham Elwell Dr Rank
Russell Bentley Nils Krogstad

Reviews

“The stage of Terje Tveit’s modern production is loaded with big tempting parcels, it’s set at Christmas, but the image rings all sorts of alarm bells: this is a time of year noted for domestic strife, while the piled-up presents reveal trapped wife Nora’s spendthrift nature and suggest not just secrets and things hidden beneath the wrappers but also toys and the child-like games Nora and husband Torvald – a watchable Tom Peters - play to avoid addressing the chasm in their relationship and the chasm in their relationship and her past misdemeanour. To emphasise this point, each scene is divided by the performers singing carols and larking around like children. It’s a device that labours the point at times, but provides a framework for this accessible version with its liberal translation and modern dress of black and red. It makes for a commendably fluid interpretation but perhaps misses the sense of period and social restriction, that Nora is corseted in all senses; and it’s also difficult to take the blackmailing money lender Krogstad seriously when he’s sporting a scarlet polo neck. Still as Nora, coquettishly wolfing down forbidden biscuits in her husband’s absence, Sarah Head is a whirlwind force to be reckoned with … a cohesive and coherent production with energy to burn.”

Time Out

“The five-person cast play the children of the house as well as the adults of the drama. They race around the stage between scenes, playing hide-and-seek and singing Christmas carols; this noisy enthusiasm contrasts with the increasingly strained undercurrents of the adult world. In many productions, actors seem to find themselves daunted by the complexity of the various characters. It’s a testament to the skills of both the cast and the director that in this staging the characters are never anything but three-dimensional. This is a must-see production.”

Camden New Journal

“In Dale Teater Kompani’s stripped-down adaptation directed by Terje Tveit, the moments of high drama and conflict are handled with gripping sureness of touch and paced with wonderful precision. When Krogstad the blackmailer - an excellent Russell Bentley - confronts Nora, and when Nora confronts her husband Helmer, you can feel the zig-zags of electricity on stage. Sarah Head makes a fine Nora and portrays her winsome self-infantilism with subtle care.”

Metro

“At the centre is a strong Ibsen portrayal. Sarah Head shows the technical assurance and emotional understanding of a fine Nora. She signals her new awareness of her husband and their marriage early, standing statue-like on a gift-wrapped box, arms out and expressing deep shock, turned from Helmer as he moves with childish lack of emotional control through extremes of fear and relief. Head clearly shows enlightenment awakening Nora’s mind; the face is immobile apart from the eyes, which register the dawning realisation of her husband’s weakness and its massive implication for her own future. ... Non-realistic Ibsen wins out thanks to some clear ideas and a beautifully-acted Nora.”

Reviews Gate

“The set strewn with parcels and a green stepladder, suggests an old toyshop window - a happy façade behind which the troubles of the Helmer household are hidden - a valid decision. ... Nora’s ending is allowed to create a powerful, climactic ending. ... As Nora, Sarah Head has a strong presence and command of the stage and is notable alongside the other cast members.”

The Stage


Bergens Tidende

Use this link to download a Norwegian language Review by Bergens Tidende as a Microsoft word 2000/2003 document.

^