1. It’s A Dolls House
It's one of my very favourite plays ever. When I studied it at drama school I completely fell in love with it. Stupidly I thought I was never going to be old enough to play any of the roles in it… How wrong I was, and how excited am I now to be given this opportunity. Bizarrely the very first production was performed exactly 100 years to the day of my birth - 21 December 1879!
2. It’s written by Henrik Ibsen
One of the greats (and one of my favourites). Often referred to as ‘The Father’ of modern theatre, his plays reveal truths and examine the realities that are behind many façades of family life during the period. His writing was often considered scandalous, which is something I very much admire him for.
3. The cast
We have an exceptional and generous cast. During the read-through I sat there and thought ‘wow, just wow, if this is what the read-through sounds like I’m very excited to see this develop into a fleshed-out production.’ Everyone is spot-on. I didn’t want to pick anyone out individually for fear of upsetting people I haven’t mentioned but I’m going to anyway. Emma Cunniffe is a sublime actress and a wonderful Nora bringing a beautiful depth, warmth, strength and courage to her playing of the character.
4. School syllabuses
You will find A Doll’s House on a lot of school and university syllabuses. If you aren’t/didn’t study it yourself, chances are your children will at some point. Bringing them to see a live production, set in the originally intended period will help them to understand the play, its meaning and the complexities of the piece, bringing it to life before their and your very eyes.
5. The adaptation
I have read many versions of this play, but Bryony Lavery has done a wonderful job. A Doll’s House is so very dense, with each character having layer upon layer of complex emotion and agenda. Her warm, witty and dark adaptation brings the world of the Helmer household to life with vivid colour, in such a way as to never alienate the audience. You will feel every bit a part of the crazy comings and goings of this wonderful brutal story.
A Doll's House is at The Lowry from 24 February - 12 March. For more details please visit the Library theatre website.