Ask Audrey Ask Audrey
View:
Review
Review

A Doll's House

Audrey review: Joanna Murray-Smith’s tangy update of Ibsen’s 1879 drama brings the play seamlessly into the present.

Text size
Text size
Category: Theatre
Book Now
Add to favourites

A Doll’s House

Date: 17 Jun 2022

Joanna Murray-Smith’s tangy update of Ibsen’s 1879 drama brings the play seamlessly into the present with a couple of minor characters cut and Ibsen’s melodramatic twists pretty much intact.

Here, Nora’s husband Torvald (James Lugton) is a banking executive about to be boosted into the top seat in the wake of a corporate scandal. He’s just the kind of squeaky-clean chap they need and because of that, boasts Nora (Chantelle Jamieson) to her unlucky-in life friend Kristina (an excellent Lizzie Schebesta), the Helmer’s are going to be “rolling in it.” Nora is a stranger to tact among other things.

But before that unseemly rolling commences, Nora must somehow deal with issues threatening her prosperity and security. A disgruntled bank employee, Krogstad (David Soncin), holds the documents to a big loan she obtained without her husband’s knowledge – and with a forged signature to boot.Even if she can pay it off without Torvald finding out, the possibility of blackmail remains.

From the get-go of director Mark Kilmurry’s production, as we watch Nora unpack a pile of Christmas gifts while trying to justify her extravagance and confirm her irresistible charm, it’s clear she’s a woman already at breaking point. Jamieson double underlines that impression by playing Nora with a manic eagerness to please, a hysterical note that dominates her performance.

By contrast, Lugton makes Torvald an entirely affable and relaxed presence – which leaves us suitably unprepared for the ferocity of his response to Nora’s confession of her fraud. After unfolding steadily but without much tension, A Doll’s House blazes briefly into life at that moment.

Content
Once
Add to favourites
MusicalEternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst, Sydney 24 Jun - 31 Jul 2022

Once

Audrey review: Once is a rare bird of a musical, one that wears its heart entirely on its sleeve.

Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes
Add to favourites
TheatreBelvoir, Surry Hills, Sydney 2 Jun - 10 Jul 2022

Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes

Audrey review: Playwright Hannah Moscovitch's two-hander is more he-said than she-said but the balance is right.

Cleansed
Add to favourites
TheatreOld Fitzroy Theatre, Woolloomooloo, Sydney 9 Jun - 2 Jul 2022

Cleansed

Audrey review: Love and pain are given equal weight in this tenderly delivered production of Sarah Kane's savage drama.

See More

More to see

View All
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
Add to favourites
TheatreRoslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney 3 Aug - 3 Sep 2022

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde

STC Artistic Director Kip Williams brings his unique vision to a classic detective story that’s fascinated readers, artists and audiences for generations.

Albion
Add to favourites
TheatreReginald Theatre, Seymour Centre, Chippendale, Sydney 27 Jul - 13 Aug 2022

Albion

The Australian premiere of Mike Bartlett’s UK hit, a sweeping family saga about Brexit-era Britain.

Control
Add to favourites
TheatreNew Theatre, Newtown, Sydney 5 - 30 Jul 2022

Control

Playwright Keziah Warner sends a disparate quartet of reality TV contestants hurtling into space.

Golden Blood 黄金血液
Add to favourites
TheatreSBW Stables Theatre, Kings Cross, Sydney 24 Jun - 30 Jul 2022

Golden Blood 黄金血液

When her mother dies, a girl is left alone within the four walls of the only thing she’s inherited - a decaying penthouse in the heart of Singapore.

Top