“A Dolls House” at 21. Oct 2015
author Henrik Ibsen
directed by Rachel O’Riordan in Sherman Theatre
Setting and stagecraft: extremely tall and massive doors and shelves placed on the stage (from stage floor to top), which made the surrounding rather enormous and strange. Appearance of the actors and the surrounding was quite B&W, which made the view picturesque and beautiful, in my opinion. There were only few details, which caught an eye – the green Christmas tree with red decorations, the white doll’s house on a black piano. The actors and the stage fitted perfectly, they were inside of it, not remarkably outstanding.
Acting and characters: the main character, Nora, was naive, emotional and jolly woman, accurate and believable acting, although I did not like the “emotional monologues” in between the play. They didn’t seem to be realistic, and looked way too odd and overacted. It was already clear that she would feel miserable, mad, worried etc, but these several short, dark moments, when she was screaming or gasping some phrases didn’t give anything necessary to the play in general. Most of all I enjoyed the doctor, their family friend, whose character was interesting and funny, but also made me feel sorry for him. He was a complex and kind and the actor played it remarkably well.
The play: the story was about a young woman, Nora, who had married with a rich and older man, holding a secret behind his husband – she had borrowed money from his old friend and colleague to heal her husband from a hard disease. One day Nora’s old friend, Christine, came to visit her, whose old lover was accidentally the same guy whom Nora borrowed money from. Christine finds out about the secret, but doesn’t know everything. In the end, after numerous happenings, Nora discovers that she has been a Doll in her husband’s house, like she was at her father’s house, before she left. She finally takes the courage to be free, to see the world and leaves her husband and three children to clarify her mind. The tragic ending turned out to be very funny and tragicomedic, which gave a nice tricky ending to a 3-hour play.
In addition: in German version Nora doesn’t leave her husband and children, because Torvald reminds her that she would leave her children motherless just like she was as a child. The irony, reflectiveness and complexness of life, which would have made such a different ending and plot to the whole play..