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A Doll's House (Salford)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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If this production of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House is anything to go by, the Library Theatre Company are settling into their temporary venue very well: clean, sharp and excellently produced, it retains the usual trademark of the company's high standard.

Emma Cunniffe is superb as Nora Helmer, who moves from being a carefree young wife, to a troubled woman dealing with the despair of her secret being found out, to a strong woman who finally makes a choice which is right for her. On stage for most of the performance, she is convincing throughout. Her final nemesis, her husband Torvald
(Ken Bradshaw), is a perfect foil; initially seeming the ideal husband until his controlling nature becomes too much for her to bear.

The rest of the cast are equally confident in their roles, and special mention must be made of Daniel Brocklebank's Dr Rank, who garners sympathy without overplaying the part.

Director Chris Honer uses Bryony Lavery's adaptation of the script and while staying true to the original emphasises Nora's viewpoint and enhances what is already a great play. He directs his cast members with skill and even manages to elict good performances from the very cute child actors playing Nora's family.

In true Library style the superb set by Judith Croft is a simple room, not over-fussy, yet not minimalist.

Overall this is one of the best productions of A Doll's House I have seen. Go and enjoy a master playwright's work, masterly performed by a great Manchester Company.

- Helen Jones


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