A Doll's House

  • Theatre
  • Drama
Critics' choice
1/3
© Richard Hubert Smith

Caroline Martin (Kristine) and Hattie Morahan (Nora)

2/3
© Johan Persson

Dominic Rowan (Torvald)

3/3
© Richard Hubert Smith

Hattie Morahan (Nora) and Dominic Rowan (Torvald)

Is there a greater feminist tragedy in theatre than that of Henrik Ibsen’s Nora, allowed to be a bluebird, a swallow or a skylark but never a full-grown woman?

In this wildly acclaimed transfer from the Young Vic, Hattie Morahan, slender and as beauteous as a painted Madonna, scotches that ideal every time she moves, which is all the time: compulsively twisting her wedding ring, tickling her children or dancing the tarantella for her adoring husband Torvald, who is as stupid as he believes a woman should be.

His dear little wife has borrowed money from a charlatan to save his health and is now sinking ever deeper into deceit; he doesn’t credit her with the ability to spell ‘line’, let alone open a line of credit. Torvald is a hard role in the modern era: times have supposedly changed but brainless leading men are still not popular. But just as Nick Fletcher makes us hate manipulative, desperate debt collector Krogstad, Dominic Rowan makes us care about Torvald – and doubly fool us when the chips are down.

The beauty of Ibsen’s play is that everyone in it is in some way a silly little fool, but at least the doll whose house – spectacularly configured by Ian MacNeil as a spinning top – we visit for three fabulous hours has some capacity to think for herself. All this is directed by Carrie Cracknell, a woman. Imagine that!

By Nina Caplan

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|7
1 person listening
Chris Ford

An excellent performance of acting my ll the charcters in Harold Pinter's play. The revolving stage was a good feature to show acting within different rooms of the house. My only complaint would be with the Time Out website which didnt inform me I was buying tickets with restricted view until I received confirmation of the purchase.

Diana Hart

I took my 14 year old son to see this as he's studying it for GCSE Drama. It was a struggle for him to understand the subtleties but I absolutely loved it. The story was riveting with fresh revelations unfolding constantly to keep us guessing at the outcome. Nora's seemingly irritating manner at the beginning was palling with me until the plot begins to reveal itself and her movement style becomes a clear representation of what her character is going through. There were many humorous moments provided mainly at the expense of Torvald, but his John Cleese-like moments gave the audience some terrific light relief. Great revolving set. I applauded on my feet at the end. Terrific stuff.

William Mason

This is a wonderful production of a marvellous and important play. I heard about it just a day or two before I was going to London, and was lucky enough to get two excellent seats in the middle of the stalls in the delightful little Duke of York's theatre in St. Martin's Lane. The production is set perhaps 30 years after the piece was written, with beautiful but simple period costumes and a doll's house of a set on a small revolve, which was used very convincingly for the transitions between the scenes, keeping us in touch with all the characters in a very effective dumb show. All the actors were good, and the Nora quite outstanding, wierd, intense and fascinating.

Annalisa Iacono

I bought two tickets with restricted view for very low price, so I couldn't see part of the stage, but I knew it before and I could not pretend more for that amount of money. I knew the story of the play because I read Ibsen's book and I was really curious to see the actors and their interpretations. I found that the actress playing Nora, the main character, was extremely expressive. Also the rest of the cast was very good, even if I would have chosen for the husband an actor at least at the same level as the protagonist, since sometime I could feel the difference in the performance between the two actors, when they were in the same scene. Overall a very good performance.

Laura

One of my favourate plays. I have perhaps been spoilt having seen an excellent production at the donmar theatre a few years ago. However I have to say that this production was a huge disappointment. Unconvincing performances all round. The set was interesting and costumes worked. The tarantella scene at the end of first act was beautiful but frankly the rest was irritating. Wait for a better performance.