Wow, what an incredible evening of theatre. Every aspect of Hedda Gabler is top class. Sets, lighting and costumes are stunning and there isn't s weak link in the cast, led by the outstanding Sheridan Smith who delivers a devastating performance. She is fast becoming one of our great stage actresses. This production is theatre at its very best.
Hedda Gabler probably ranks alongside A Doll's House as Ibsen's masterpiece Anna Mackmin directs a sprightly version of this great play. Brian Friel's adaptation feels current but without any horrible modern anachronisms, although I did feel he made Tesman unnecessarily buffoonish so it is impossible to understand why the spirited Hedda would have married him. It's not Adrian Scarborough's fault and he is excellent albeit in a slightly misguided cause. Fenella Woolgar does well with the downtrodden Thea Elvsted and is rewarded with a triumphant closing moment of triumph and Darrel D'Silva is horribly believable as the older Judge Brack infatuated with an unobtainable young beauty. In the centarl role Sheridan Smith surpasses her award-winning performance in Flare Path. She looks lovely but superbly conveys Hedda's fatal mix of boredom and irritation with all around her, her catastrophic teasing of her male admirers as well as her change from mischievous bullying to self-aware malevolence. In case there was any doubt Hedda Gabler confirms that Sheridan Smith is a very serious actress and she is seen to great effect in an excellent production of a wonderful play.
I have seen Hedda many times on stage and yes some actresses have been stronger in the role BUT with any role, I like each actor/actress to give their own stamp and version to the part they are playing. I love Sheridan Smith in all her roles and she is definitely one of our BEST actresses and in years to come will be there at the top as the best. I loved her fragile portrayal of Hedda --she showed her in a different light to previous actresses I have seen in the role and I liked it. I felt the 2 strongest performer in the play were definitely Adrian and Fenella--excellent in their roles. I know Sheridan wants to do her roles perfect but she should feel proud of her performance. Also when we were there it was almost full house and Yes I know many were there as Sheridan fans but never the less I am sure it will be a successful run.
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