Ibsen's masterpiece about the tragic and misguided Hedda Gabler is moved to 1932 by Fiasco Theatre company.
This fast-moving interpretation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler gains from its transposition to inter-war London, while losing nothing from its shortened cast and time format. Five central characters of the original play deliver a captivating and entertaining performance. Hedda, convincingly played by Annemarie Highmore, switches from cool and manipulative to whimsical and frivolous. This complex mix gives her an edge and adds to the developing tension in the narrative. Her husband, the naïve Tesman, is well portrayed as the perfect foil by Ben Waring. Judge Brack, confidently played by Daniel Jennings, is better matched to Hedda’s scheming, while her ex-lover Lovborg and her old school friend Elvsted are clearly depicted as vulnerable characters by Chris Clynes and Claire Lowrie respectively. The dialogue is crisp and at times humorous. Nevertheless, themes of destruction and loss foreshadow the outcome of 1930s European politics. As the plot draws to its ending Hedda’s growing instability brings an inevitable conclusion. This powerful production by FiasCo is thoroughly recommended.