Originally written and performed in the 1890s, Hedda Gabler is a classic tragedy that has been wonderfully re-imagined by the National Theatre, who have set the standard for many years with critically acclaimed tours such as War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.
In a new version by Patrick Marber, once again the National Theatre have produced an outstanding new piece of theatre. The result though, is a powerful, atmospheric and engrossing theatre magic. Thoroughly modernised without tainting the original piece, the National Theatre are making classic theatre not just accessible, but extremely appealing.
Hedda is a newly wed, but she’s bored already. A complicated woman, she admits that she settled down because it was time to. Pretending to be happy is an act that she is quite good at, albeit through witty (and often amusing) sarcasm – but it’s clear from the relations she has with others in the circle that she is far from settled. She is not well, feeling trapped and out of control – she seems to have a devious interest in the idea that she could have control of other people.
Complicated relationships outside of her marriage make for tricky situations and once that spirals out of control, Hedda battles to regain control in the only way she can.
The script is wonderfully open to interpretation as it eerily creeps through the plot. It’s thought provoking and utterly engrossing.
Lizzy Watts is a force to be reckoned with in the role of Hedda – an outstanding performer in a challenging and role. She has the audience in the palm of her hand.
Ultimately, the direction of the play is what has made this production a quite incredible piece. Directed beautifully, eerily and realistically by Ivo van Hove.
This is a stunning new tour, if you like your gritty plays, you will want to see this. Reviewed at Leicester Curve where it plays until 28th October (Click Here for tickets) the tour continues until March 2018. Click here for details.
It will also be broadcast live to Cinemas on Thursday 9th March – click here to find a venue near you.