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CandyKing Theatre Company

 

A Doll’s House

 

 

by Henrik Ibsen

 

Directed By Marialuisa Chiorando

 

Greenwich Playhouse

 

18 August – 13 September 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

ary Couzens

A review by Mike Miller for EXTRA! EXTRA!

 

CandyKing Theatre, a company that produces classic revivals alongside new writing are showing promise.  Their third production, a revival of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House can be seen at the Greenwich Playhouse, in a new translation by Ida Fore.  A Doll’s House tells the story of a woman who realizes her freedom to choose independence in a patriarchal society.  The play, when first produced in 1879, spawned so much controversy over the system of marriage that some countries when first performing the piece asked for an alternative ending.  The play is a staple in the history of realism and is a play some have coined the first feminist play.  What to do with this piece? Update and contextualize to question the progression of marital relationships, or to perform in period and recognize the relevance of this piece in recent history. 

Marialuisa Chiorando, a third of Candy King, directed the piece realistically in period.  The set design and costumes were effective in putting the audience’s mind into the time of the late 1800s, and the lights and music (nicely composed by Dylan Freed) were used minimally and pinpointed the focus towards the dialogue and action of the play.  Because of this minimalism of elements, you would need a good cast to tell Ibsen’s masterpiece. 

Katie Dion-Richard’s (Nora) transformation from the carefree housewife of Act I to the developed woman we see in Act III was a delight to watch.  Brett Harris, who may have thought that he was too young for the piece, applies an affectation of age in his voice that sometimes becomes more harm than help, but he shakes that off by Act III as he encapsulates the shame and tension in his monologue when Torvald withdraws and justifies his previous verbal denunciation of his love for Nora. And Jose Domingos brings a good deal of sincerity and pragmatism to the role of Dr. Rank.     

The show is broken up with an interval in between Acts II and III, the first half taking slightly over an hour and a half.  Near the end of the first half, the visual imagery you are confronted with becomes stale and you may find yourself unconvinced to stay and watch the second half, but I assure you it’s the best part.  The second half makes you realize the importance of this piece and why it’s necessary to produce it again and again.

 

 

             
Box Office:  020 8858 9256

http://www.galleontheatre.co.uk/

 

Tuesday – Saturday 7:30pm, Sundays 4pm

Tickets:  £12, £10 concessions

Greenwich Playhouse
189 Greenwich High Road
London  SE10 8JA

 

 

 

 

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