Directed by critically acclaimed director Ivo van Hove, Hedda Gabler stars Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Luther) as the title character. In a new adaptation by Patrick Marber from Henrik Ibsen’s original text, Hedda Gabler is a compelling play about a woman who becomes bored and restless when she settles down into married life. As a result, she starts to create chaos in the lives of those around her as a form of entertainment. Throughout the play, you start to realise that she basked in attention from men that when she settles down, she doesn’t know what to do now that the attention isn’t there.
This was a play that I had heard a lot about but hadn’t seen. So once I saw that a brilliant actress was leading the company as well as being directed by a fantastic director at one of my favourite theatres? I couldn’t say no.
This may be a quite short review, as it’s definitely a show to go into by not knowing much about the plot. Because a lot of the story is built on the uncertainty that comes with Hedda’s next move. As an audience member, the play really had me on the edge of my seat and had me jumping a couple of times. Ruth Wilson was absolutely astounding as Hedda. Every moment she was on stage, she had me captivated. She commands the stage in every single scene she is in, especially when Hedda has all the power. I was thrilled to catch this fantastic actress on stage, she really brought this interesting and slightly demonic woman to life.
Another thing I found super interesting was the use of space. The stage is set in the living room of the house Hedda and her husband share. And when other characters enter/leave the house, they enter from various parts of the auditorium. Mostly the doors to the left and right of the stage but the back of the auditorium is used as well. Although, I was sat in the front of the stalls and did have to keep turning back in one particular scene.
The show is also rounded out with support from scene stealing support from Kyle Soller as Hedda’s husband Tessman and Rafe Spall & Chukwudi Iwuji as Brack and Lovborg respectfully. Hedda Gabler is a fantastically built and performed and plays into a life long presentation of the role of women in marriage. The ending had my jaw on the floor.
Hedda Gabler is running until the 21st March 2017. For more information please visit https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/hedda-gabler/
Stay tuned tomorrow for my review of She Loves Me at the Menier Chocolate Factory!
Until next time,