Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House shocked audiences when it premiered in 1879 with its radical insights into the roles of husband and wife.
The portrayal of flawed heroine Nora remains one of the most striking depictions of late-nineteenth century woman.
The play provoked “a storm of outraged controversy” with its exposure of hypocrisy in marriage - see why at The Stables Theatre in Hastings which has performances from March 9-17 at 7.30pm and a 2.30pm matinee on March 11. Tickets cost £13 with discounts.
The play, with its brisk and thriller-like plotting, is significant for the way it deals with the fate of a married woman at a time when women lacked opportunity for fulfilment in a male-dominated world and were expected to look beautiful, keep a comfortable home and satisfy the needs of their husband. As an important piece of theatre, the play and the role of Nora have taken on an iconic status, and she has been described as a “symbol throughout the world, for women fighting for liberation and equality.”
Universal anxieties around the nature of a woman’s role, marriage and money are still relevant and thought-provoking for today’s audiences. Ibsen is known as the father of modern realism and it is hard to ignore the play’s strong feminist resonances in our current culture.
This version of A Doll’s House by Olivier award-winning playwright Simon Stephens opened at the Young Vic Theatre, London, in 2012. Photograph by Peter Mould.