Nora Helmer, the heroine of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, is regarded as one of the greatest roles in modern theatre.
For emotional range and complexity, it is on a par with that of Hamlet and she is on stage for almost the entire play with every other character revolving around her – something unheard of when A Doll’s House was first performed in Denmark in 1879, and still rare now.
From her first appearance, Nora has generated powerful emotions from her audience. Many despised her for walking out on her husband and young children in the play’s now famous climax. Her emancipation from marriage and middle class society was unthinkable. The leading German actress Hedwig Raabe refused to play the role in 1880 until the end of the play was changed. Some credit Nora with sparking the feminist movement when she told her husband she is a “human being” above being a wife and mother.
Shannon Thomas plays the role of Nora in this period costumed production directed by Patricia Rowling. She is joined on stage by Nicolas Gledhill (Dr Rank), Matt Oxley (Torvald), Robert Gray (Krogstad) and Penny Day, playing Anne Marie.