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A Doll’s House at The London Theatre, New Cross January 2014

Nora Helmer Laura Kenward and Torvald Helmer Howie Ripley
Nora Helmer (Laura Kenward) and Torvald Helmer (Howie Ripley).

Bromley Little Theatre present Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, adapted by Samuel Adamson, at The London Theatre, New Cross from Tuesday 21st to Sunday 26th January 2014.

The world’s most performed play, A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, who is the world’s most frequently performed dramatist, after Shakespeare, was recently performed at Bromley Little Theatre. Now heading for The London Theatre, Samuel Adamson’s adaptation, which was commissioned by Southwark Playhouse ten years ago,  illustrates the issues of Nineteenth Century morals, female suppression, love, betrayal, scandal and the search for one’s identity in an accessible, modern style.

A perfect plot, passionate, pertinent and sexually thrilling …

Samuel Adamson’s adaptation of Ibsen’s classic drama clearly resonates with modern-day audiences. It’s going to be the perfect Christmas for Nora and her family until, over three long days, ‘the doll’s house’ is torn apart as secrets and lies erupt to the surface. Harsh truth challenges the ghosts of the past making it impossible for anything to ever be the same again.

Laura Kenward who plays the role of Nora recently took time out to answer a few questions about the play and her role.

Written in 1879, what do you think is the key to the play’s longevity?
The themes of the play still resonate with modern audiences as they cover  – love, money, sex, deception and betrayal – issues which are played out again and again in modern day relationships. Ibsen is also a master of the excellent ‘plot’ – it moves along briskly, gripping the audience and keeping them guessing until the end.

Nora Helmer Laura Kenward and Torvald Helmer Howie Ripley A Dolls HouseWhat do you enjoy most about playing the role of Nora?
The challenge of a role that requires great emotional depth and the ability to say one thing whilst feeling another. Every line matters, none of the script is wasted and there are so many ways of delivering the lines and discovering the many aspects of Nora’s personality as she interacts with the other characters in the play.

What is the play’s underlying message to the audience?
Relationships are not always what they seem. How well do we really know the people to whom we are closest and how do we discover our own real identity so that we live full and meaningful lives.

Why should everyone get along to see this adaptation of the play?
It is a classic play, by a superb writer, thrillingly adapted by Samuel Adamson. It is thought-provoking, moving, it makes you laugh and cry, contains highly engaging performances from a talented cast – in all ‘a good night out’.

CAST:
Nora Helmer – Laura Kenward
Laura has performed on many occasions at BLT and Farnborough Dramatics Society. Before A Doll’s House, her most recent role was that of Rose in Dancing at Lughnasa and Ann in All My Sons. She is also delighted to have won the adjudicators award for outstanding achievement and merit as LV in Little Voice In ‘The Bromley Theatre guilds full length play festival’. She is thrilled at playing the role of Nora, which the director has described as being the female equivalent of Hamlet.

Torvald Helmer – Howie Ripley
Howie is a veteran of the independent theatre scene; he studied English and Drama in the UK and acting for the camera in California. A Doll’s House has long been one of Howie’s favourite plays. This is Howie’s third show with BLT.

Kristine Linde – Maleesha Adjaye-Tabansi
Credits include Francine and Lena in Clybourne Park at the Geoffrey Whitworth Theatre, the Bridewell Theatre with Second Wave, the Albany Empire with Bubble Theatre.

Dr Rank – Tom Collins
Credits for BLT include Oliver! as Mr Sowberry, Table Manners playing Tom and Calendar Girls in the role of Lawrence the photographer. Tom played the lead role of Hlestakov in the award-winning production of The Government Inspector.

Nils Krogstad – David Scott-Lucas
David trained at The Actors’ Temple in London. His recent stage roles include Sydney in Absurd Person Singular, Phil in  Brassed Off,  Mark in Taking Steps,  Lars in  Dinner, and James in Casual Encounters . He has had recent short film roles in Isaac and Abraham (Sandgrown Films) and Through the Fire (Greenwich Motion Productions).

Director – Pauline Armour
Pauline was initially introduced to the works of Henrik Ibsen at school in Blackburn in the 1960s and she recalls reading The Master Builder and subsequently watching an inspirational TV production with a young Judi Dench and Laurence Olivier. In 1976 Pauline was fortunate to play Nora in A Doll’s House with Merseyside Unity Theatre and since becoming Artistic Director at BLT she has been keen to include Ibsen within the programme. It is coincidental that BLT’s production of A Doll’s House was recently performed at the same time as the highly acclaimed Young Vic revival in the West End.

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A Doll’s House
The London Theatre
443 New Cross Road
London, SE14 6TA

Box office 0208 694 1888
Dates: Tuesday 21st to Sunday 26th January 8.00pm (5.00pm Sunday) £12.50

Author

  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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