The Royal Exchange Theatre – Manchester
2nd May 2013
By Henrik Ibsen
Ibsen’s quiet portrayal of the coming of age of Nora, who married her ideal husband and raises her ideal family, as the lies of the past come back to haunt the present and show her shallowness of the marriage she has so easily fallen into. Her passage from suppliant wife to independent and free thinking woman is sheer genius as the part she played in saving her husband’s life and the certain knowledge that if he were to find out he would destroy himself over it turns to the shock and wide eyed disbelief that his only concern is for how the public perceive him.
The fact that she has never seen him for what he truly is first breaks the brittle thing that everyone thinks she is, but what emerges is a strong and independent woman, ready to go out and find who she really is and what she really wants from life.
The dark way in which the couple accept the suicide of their life long friend, and family doctor, who is not suffering from a life threatening illness but rather from a painful and crippling illness, is very understated but underlines the true nature of both of these characters as their friendship for the man shows to be just as shallow as their marriage itself.
A dolls house is what they have created, and in bringing these characters to life the cast and crew created a wonderful evening’s entertainment.