Battle of the Sexes; Courting Controversy When It Was First Staged More Than a Century Ago, Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House Has Been Revived for the Welsh Stage. Director Emma Lucia Tells Karen Price Why the Play Still Packs a Punch All These Years Later
WHEN it opens in Cardiff next week, Clwyd Theatr Cymru's take on A Doll's House will be bring one of the more controversial plays to the stage.
Henrik Ibsen's landmark drama, which shocked audiences when it was first staged, is a radical portrayal of a modern woman's journey to self-awareness and independence.
Nora is a young, beautiful woman who is blissfully in love with her lawyer husband, Torvald.
Yet beneath the surface of their domestic idyll, her life is entangled in deception, forgery and extortion.
She risks everything to conceal the truth and protect her husband's reputation but finds herself in a struggle against a far more deep-rooted oppression - Torvald's image of her.
His work may be more than 100 years old, but director Emma Lucia is more than happy to be breathing new life into Norwegian playwright Ibsen's work.
"Ibsen has informed so many playwrights of today," she says. "When you go back to the plays he published around 1879 (when A Doll's House was written) you can see the impact they had on audiences then. They were really controversial pieces of theatre and it's interesting to see what it was about his plays that shocked society.
"People would walk out and performances were banned.
"In Germany they said he would have to change the ending of this play because it was so controversial.
"For a while he gave in and said he would change the ending but that he would have to write it as he didn't want someone else meddling with his play. But eventually the German audiences themselves rebelled and said they wanted Ibsen's real ending so the original ending was reinstated.
"That's why I find his work so interesting."
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