by Ingmar Bergman translated by Frederick J Marker and Lise-Lone Marker.
Belgrade Theatre (B2) Belgrade Square CV1 1GS To 18 February 2012.
Mon-Sat 8pm Mat Sat & 15 Feb 2.45pm.
Audio-described 11 Feb 2.45pm.
Captioned 16 Feb.
Post-show Discussion 16 Feb.
Runs 1hr 40min No interval.
TICKETS: 024 7655 3055.
Review: Jan Pick 31 January.
Playing for real.
This adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House by Ingmar Bergman is short, intense and still shocking, despite the changes in society’s views on women and their place in the home.
The core of Ibsen’s play is still there, although the cuts made by Bergman do no favours to the supporting cast, diluting both the menace of Krogstad and the tragedy of Dr Rank. Peter Lindford does a lot with what has been left to him, but Stuart Laing struggles to make Krogstad appear the threat to her marriage that Nora obviously fears him to be.
David Michaels successfully conveys her husband Torvald’s essential weakness in a sensitive performance, nicely judged and paced, but the real focus of the evening is Nora, and Penny Layden rises to the occasion brilliantly, totally convincing in her nervous gaiety and desperate attempts to save her marriage through the continuing deception of her husband.
Sanchia McCormack is more than adequate as she takes on the rather thankless role of the interfering friend, Christine Linde, who tries to help, but thinks she has the right to force Nora into a destructive, if ultimately necessary, honesty. The set is suitably Scandinavian, with the two goldfish swimming around a tank reminding us that both Nora and Torvald are trapped within the constraints of their lives, and the Belgrade’s studio theatre is ideal in generating both the claustrophobic atmosphere and a sense of voyeurism as we watch the inevitable fracturing of a marriage founded on inequality and lies.
After the success of Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage here, the Belgrade has come up with another Scandinavian winner.
Nils Krogstad: Stuart Laing.
Nora Helmer: Penny Layden.
Doctor Rank: Peter Lindford.
Christine Linde: Sanchia McCormack.
Torvald Helmer: David Michaels.
Director: Patricia Benecke.
Designer: Naomi Dawson.
Lighting: Chahine Yavroyan.
Composer: Simon Slater.