HEDDA GABLER

Henrik Ibsen

Translated, Designed and Directed by Terje Tveit
Lighting Design: Christopher Nairne
Sound Design: Jack Harris
Costumes: Sharon Bourke
Stage Manager: Becky Russell
Production Assistant: Roza Grigorova
Production Assistant: Berislav Juraic

Riverside Studios

03 - 14 February 2010

Cast

Sarah Head Hedda
Jenni Lea-Jones Thea
Rosalind Stockwell Juliane
Doron Davidson Tesman
Matthew Williamson Brack
Fanos Xenofos Løvborg

Reviews

“The tautness, the leanness, the unrelenting tension give this imaginative staging of Hedda Gabler the feel of a powerful and tragic chamber-opera. Set in a non-realistic circular desert of white crushed paper and six chairs, this is a riveting and moving Hedda Gabler from start to finish. ... Sarah Head in the title role is to be deeply admired. Her powerful and complex performance conveys the very air of someone compelled towards her own behaviour, her own actions, trapped by forces she cannot combat, or fathom, and not in her conscious control but issuing from deep down within her. This portrayal of perhaps Ibsen’s most complex and enigmatic character is to my mind the only really satisfactory way of seeing this most perplexing and troubling of plays. ... Brack, who, in far too many performances, can be too near the role of melodramatic villain, is beautifully balanced. The production clearly conveys the frightening attraction and near-sympathy between Hedda and Brack, and the amoral logic by which he arrives at his final demonstration of the hold he has over her. ... Disturbing, yet thoughtful and deeply felt, this is production of great clarity, which is to be hugely congratulated.”

Paul Binding, Author, Critic and Cultural Historian

“This intense and imaginative version of Hedda is absolutely gripping. The austerity of the set — a circle of light around which the cast prowls while Hedda occupies the centre as both caged animal and ringmaster ... does more to convey the claustrophobic and futile world of the play than any amount of heavy drapes and slamming doors. A strong ensemble dominated by Sarah Head’s mesmerising performance as Hedda. Don’t miss it!”

Jessica Gordon, Time Out

“A terrific and completely absorbing production Hedda Gabler, Ibsen’s perhaps most difficult and enigmatic play. ... Sarah Head, whose Hedda, in my view outshines the likes of Maggie Smith, Juliet Stevenson and Fiona Shaw, conveys Hedda’s complexity with a rare clarity; the silent actions that reveal character are crystal clear and the inner workings of her mind beautifully conveyed in a way I have never seen before; moreover it transcended cultural specificity by showing us Hedda’s inner world. It is much to the production’s credit, that perhaps for the first time ever, one realises how many times this woman has miscalculated. Moreover the staging, the music and the lighting emphasises the way Hedda interacts, or does not interact with those around her. ... A rare production that deserves a huge audience.”

Ann Knapp

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