After the Broadway premiere of Hedda Gabler in 1902, one reviewer wrote of its extraordinary heroine: ‘Degenerate, selfish, morbid, cruel, bitter, jealous, something of a visionary, something of a lunatic.’
Hedda Gabler is trapped inside a conventional life: she married the scholar George Tesman. But money is short, Tesman’s old rival Ejlert Lövborg has turned up again, Judge Brack is visiting with alarming regularity, and Hedda Gabler’s volcanic boredom is reaching its limits. So begins a dangerous game of finding purpose in a purposeless existence.
Belvoir’s Resident Director Adena Jacobs has an uncanny ability to uncover the torrents of instinct that run beneath the routines of modern living. Ash Flanders is a man who has made an artform out of playing tragic heroines.
Their Hedda Gabler is a primal close-up of Ibsen’s electrifying marriage tragedy.
Adapted by Adena Jacobs from the play by Henrik Ibsen
Director Adena Jacobs
Set Designer Dayna Morrissey
Costume Designer David Fleischer
Lighting Designer Danny Pettingill
Composer Kelly Ryall
Dramaturg Luisa Hastings Edge
Fight Director Scott Witt
Stage Manager Edwina Guinness
Assistant Stage Manager Angharad Lindley
It’s great to see Hedda Gabler reworked so ferociously, because it needs to be.Ann Foo | Arts Hub
At the heart of it, Flanders is a very good Hedda. His characterisation is lean, mean and languorous, and his interactions a spectrum of disconnection.Rima Sabina Aouf | Concrete Playground
Jacobs directs with a strong and individual hand; her sense of space and timing feels like an evolution of her work on Persona, at Belvoir last year.Cassie Tongue | Aussie Theatre
Jacobs’ production, by taking overt social constraints and gender out of the picture, throws Hedda’s internal constraints into relief. She also allows nice room for scenes to breathe, with a little help from interstitial sound-tracking by Kelly Ryall.Dee Jefferson | Time Out