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Posts Tagged ‘Patricia Allison’

Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is apparently the most produced play in the world, and considered to be the first feminist play. I’m not sure what attracts so many to produce it, and what propels a writer to produce a sequel, but I’m glad Lucas Hnath did.

When you walk into the theatre you find yourself sitting around the exterior of a house, with smoke coming out of the chimney. As the play starts it rises to reveal a platform with just a table and some chairs. It’s a coup d’theatre by designer Rae Smith, albeit an expensive one, and we never see it again. It’s fifteen years since Nora walked out on her husband and children. Only the housekeeper Anne-Marie knows she is about to return, on a mission to tie up loose ends to protect herself. She’s now a successful feminist writer who has been more fulfilled since leaving, but her writing has brought enemies who have been digging around.

Anne-Marie refuses to become involved in her plan to make things safe, and Torvald won’t give her the divorce that would be the easiest way out. Her daughter offers a solution but Nora won’t implicate her. It’s a plausible speculation and an even handed treatment of the parties. James Macdonald’s production is surprisingly funny and the play is way lighter than Ibsen’s play. I really liked it.

There are four fine performances. The ever wonderful June Watson plays Anne-Marie as an indefatigable, loyal family retainer. Noma Dumezweni is terrific as Nora, riddled with guilt for deserting her children but defiant in her beliefs. Brian F. O’Byrne and Patricia Allison provide fine support as Torvald and the daughter.

I had to reschedule it after a cancellation due to covid, but it was worth it.

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