Hedda Gabbler, Theatre Royal, Norwich. November 2017.
I'd missed this in London at the National Theatre and so was very happy to find out that the tour was coming to Norwich but even after all of this time I still went in 'blind' to the play as I didn't know the story at all.
I think that this was a great way to see the play as it kept me on the edge of my seat as I couldn't work out how the plot was going to play out at all.
I could sense that it wasn't going to be a happy play, and the focus of the guns at the start made me think of Chekhov's rule. This roughly states that if there is a gun shown in act one it has to be used by the end of the play...
While all of the cast were very good, none of their characters were and the slow growing air of menace and madness really drew me in and left me with shivers running up and down my spine. There were moments of levity (and sometimes I seemed to find things funny when others didn't - oops?) but this was an oppressively dark play, despite the light set!
This version was an adaptation by Patrick Marber and as I'm not familiar with the original I don't know how purists see it, I will be hunting down an earlier version to compare very soon. This is only the 2nd Ibsen play I've seen - the first Emperor and Galilean back in 2011 put me off a little but I think that I will be trying more in the future.