Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in an odd adaptation
The Cultural Critic by Steve Cohen
A Doll ’ south House by Henrik Ibsen. A production by Jo Strómgren Kompani presented in the 2015 FringeArts Festival in Philadelphia .
For a half hour before the open of this A Doll ’ mho House, the actors Suli Holum and Pearce Bunting stand on the stage flipping coins into a cup, dancing around each other, giggling. All of this suggests that they ( as Nora and Doctor Rank ) are airless friends and that she is a playful and vibrant coquette.
The lights dim, courtly carry through begins, and Nora ’ sulfur husband Torval ( Leonard C. Haas ) breezes in with a cheerful “ Honey, I ’, thousand home. ” This exemplifies the casual approach path the output applies to Ibsen ’ randomness authoritative bring .
The stage set, by the norwegian director Jo Strómgren, has miniature rooms representing the dame ’ sulfur house and some of the action has the actors stooping to go in and out of those rooms. In the background of many scenes Strómgren has characters crawling in and out of boxes and on clear of roof, as if haunting Nora. It ’ sulfur fun — or is it needle distraction ?
Nora depends on Torval for everything, like a little dame. She ’ s an indulgent spendthrift, always scrounging for money, which is a reduction of Ibsen ’ s fib. Years ago she wanted funds to take her ailing husband on a remedy vacation, and Torval absolutely opposed borrowing ( although he ’ s a banker ! ) so she forged her dying beget ’ sulfur diagnose to get the cash .
The affection of the diagram is the attack by a bank salesclerk to blackmail Nora. The essentials remain in put in this adaptation, but the tone is skewed. balmy humor counterbalances the desperate aspects of the play. Ibsen ’ s quality exploitation of a maturing charwoman is missing.
Whether you love this production depends on how you react to its characterization of Nora. Her champagne, fun-loving persona is adorable and I could imagine myself falling for person like that, although I wonder why the firm, bourgeois Torval ever did. Yet we soon get annoyed by her indulgence and the way she tries to manipulate people .
In the course of the performance I decide that I ’ d never let myself get involved with such an immature charwoman, although her adolescence does make her reasonably sympathetic .
Haas is fuddy-duddy as Torval, Bunting is unusually aroused as the aged doctor, while Trey Lyford and Mary Lee Bednarek powerfully fill the parts of blackmailer and Nora ’ s friend.
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