A Doll's House

Previewed 8 August 2013, Opened 14 August 2014, Closed 26 October 2013 at the Duke of York's Theatre in London

A major revival of Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House in London starring Hattie Morahan and Dominic Rowan and directed by Carrie Cracknell with English translation and adaptation by Simon Stephens.

"And look at this. I got Emmy a house for her doll's. It's rather little. But she's only going to break it anyway." - Nora, a young wife and mother is married to Torvald, a recently promoted bank manager. Life seems content and settled until their marriage is threatened when a terrible secret from Nora's past comes back to haunt her and she begins to question their world.

Norwegian-born Ibsen's classic play, first seen over 130 years ago, about the struggle between independence and security still resonates with audience members today. Considered by many to be the first truly feminist play ever written, it comes to a climax as Nora reject's her marriage and her smothering life in a man's 'dollhouse.' The story of Nora and Torvald though rises above simple gender issues to ask bigger questions: To what extent have we sacrificed our selves for the sake of social customs and to protect what we think is love? Nora's struggle and ultimate realisations about her life invite all of us to examine our own lives and find the many ways we have made ourselves dolls and playthings in the hands of forces we believe to be beyond our control.

This revival comes into London's West End following two critically accalimed and sold-out seasons in 2012 and 2013 at the Young Vic Theatre when Hattie Morahan won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for 'Best Actress' for her performance as 'Nora'.

The cast for this production of A Doll's House in London features Hattie Morahan as 'Nora Helmer' and Dominic Rowan as 'Torvald Helmer' who are both reprising their roles from the 2012 and 2013 runs at the Young Vic Theatre. With English translation and adaptation by Simon Stephens from play by Henrik Ibsen, the production is directed by Carrie Cracknell with choreography by Quinny Sacks, set designs by Ian MacNeil, costume designs by Gabrielle Dalton, lighting by Guy Hoare, music by Stuart Earl and sound by David McSeveney. This revival originally staged at the Young Vic Theatre where it previewed from 29 June 2012, opened on 9 July 2012 and closed on 4 August 2012 before returning from 28 March to 20 April 2013).

"Carrie Cracknell's continually absorbing production... Simon Stephens' translation feels direct and modern while Hattie Morahan delivers a tremblingly emotional performance as Nora, darting between frivolous girlish flutters, coy flirtations and wide-eyed terrified looks while Dominic Rowan is suitably patronising as her domineering yet besotted banker husband Torvald... The final famous door-slamming moment may appear subdued but this is a compelling evening where three hours fly by." The Daily Express

"There is so much to admire, artistically and technically, in this marvellous production that the risk is forgetting to acknowledge the emotional jolt. Hattie Morahan gives a breakthrough performance... Dominic Rowan's Torvald is also superb: while Morahan shows resourcefulness beneath fluttering, he has weakness beneath pomposity, and his dissolution into frightened hysteria is shocking... It is said that Nora's final slam of the door echoed down the feminist decades, but human nature doesn't date. Nor do themes of secret debt, anxiety over jobs, small desperate dishonesties and Ibsen's huge and humane truths about the fragility of shallow role-playing. There is laughter, too, when tension meets absurdity. Terrific." The Times

"Written 133 years ago, Ibsen's proto-feminist drama about a wife suffocated by belittling convention still feels freshly minted. Even more so in Simon Stephens's sharply modern adaptation, which accentuates the fierce economic prism through which struggling middle-class characters are compelled to view their lives - the word money reverberates through Carrie Cracknell's production almost like an incantation... While the exquisitely watchable Hattie Morahan captures Nora's contradictions - her febrile childishness and guileless entrepreneurial spirit, her innate understanding of sex as a form of currency - she doesn't resolve them sufficiently in the final confrontation with her husband, tipping instead towards hysteria. Dominic Rowan is excellent as Nora's husband, who gets off on casting himself as her protector." The Metro

"If you ever see a production of the play, see this one. The director Carrie Cracknell's version, in a sharp new adaptation by the playwright Simon Stephens, is a master class in slow burn. It plays upon our desire for a happy conclusion, whilst moment by moment - from Nora's breathlessly optimistic entrance with a Christmas tree at the beginning to the savage end - dismantling our sentimental illusions... Hattie Morahan's Nora strikes me as a once-in-a-lifetime performance: sexy, resourceful, desperate, defiant, she drags us through her domestic torment. Dominic Rowan brings whatever baffled dignity can be brought to the outof-his depth Torvald, and the rest of the company provide sure-footed accompaniment." The Sunday Telegraph

Hattie Morahan's West End theatre credits include Anna Mackmin's revival of Tom Stoppard's play The Real Thing playing the role of 'Annie' opposite Toby Stephens as 'Henry' at the Old Vic Theatre in 2010. Dominic Rowan's London theatre credits include Thea Sharrock revival of Molière's comedy The Misanthrope which he starred in alongside Keira Knightley, Damian Lewis and Tara Fitzgerald at the Harold Pinter Theatre in 2009 and Thea Sharrock's revival of John Mortimer's autobiographical play A Voyage Round My Father in which he played the role of the son opposite Derek Jacobi as the father at the Donmar Warehouse and the transfer to the Wyndham's Theatre in 2006. Simon Stephens' theatre credits include adapting for the stage Mark Haddon's novel The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time at the National Theatre in 2012 and transfer to Apollo Theatre in 2013.

A Doll's House in London at the Duke of York's Theatre previewed from 8 August 2013, opened on 14 August 2014 and closed on 26 October 2013.


A Doll's House - Shared Experience Theatre 2000

Previewed 31 October 2000, Opened 2 November 2000, Closed 9 December 2000 at the Ambassadors Theatre in London

Shared Experience Theatre present Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, translated by Michael Meyer, in London for a limited season

We see Ibsen's classic as never before - through the eyes of its heroine. It is Christmas Eve. Nora wraps presents, decorates the tree and plays with her beloved children. But is this idyll a paradise or a prison? Noa must charm, delight and seduce if she is to survive. But every time the doorbell rings the outside world threatens to destory her fragile happiness.

In this new production Shared Experience Theatre bring their expressionistic approach to Ibsen's classic drama to reveal this dark and brilliant play in all its nakedness. Shared Experience are renowned world over for breaking boundaries and creating highly charged physical performances including the critically acclaimed Jane Eyre and Mother Courage and Her Children.

The cast features Jude Akuwudike, Pip Donaghy, Anne-Marie Duff, Paterson Joseph, Eileen O,Brien and Francesca Ryan. Directed by Polly Teale with Yvonne McDevitt.

"The set for this expressionistic production (a gaint doll's house in which the walls are hinged) is a rather old-hat stab at conceptual design. Here the play - with its gleeful bits of stage business and overcooked style and fake snow - looks and feel more like Dickens than Ibsen. The collapsible theatre aesthetic needs a rethink. Jude Akuwudike is sinisterly polite as the blackmailing clerk and Pip Donaghy pants like a dog as the aptly named Doctor Rank. While Paterson Joseph and Anne-Marie Duff, as husband and wife, give the lead parts plenty of wellie, they play to diminishing returns. It's a case of too much directional faffing about with the one author who won't tolerate it." The Daily Express

"You are instantly reminded of Alice in Wonderland. In a spartan, surreptitiously peeling front room stands a doll's house. A thin flurry of snowflakes drums against its tiny roof. Suddenly, the facade cracks open and hatches a young woman in a silken crinoline dress. It is Nora Helmer, who towers before us, flushed and trembling. Ibsen had his heroine come in through the front door, which must have looked just oh-so boring and conventional at the read-through of this Shared Experience production. The company has become renowned over the past 25 years for its strong ensemble ethos and experimental daring. This is the first time one of its shows has struck me as being bludgeoned by that working method. With adaptations of novels there is clearly a licence to chop and change. Director Polly Teale took some radical decisions in her treatment of Jane Eyre last year; it wasn't to everyone's taste, but it worked as "a version", not an exhaustive account. Here, she comes unstuck by overhauling a play that can stand on its own merits. The opening coup de theatre is striking enough, and succinctly represents the play's governing metaphor and (once highly controversial) action - that a woman's lot, as Nora learns to argue, is akin to that of a doll. The property and plaything of men must break free in order to find her true self. It's after this that things go awry. Teale keeps inflicting further currents of expressionism on the play's perfectly healthy naturalism. After two and a half hours, you can practically hear the subtext screaming for mercy" The Daily Telegraph

A Doll's House in London at the Ambassadors Theatre previewed from 31 October 2000, opened on 2 November 2000 and closed on 9 December 2000