001 – A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House remains one the most popularly produced and adapted plays in theatrical history. What is it about a play that was written more than 140 years ago that continues to inspire and challenge contemporary playwrights and audiences? The character of Nora is an iconic figure: her decision to leave her husband and three children remains a controversial act of female agency. To explore the enduring relevance of this classic play, we are joined by Dan Rebellato, playwright and Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London. The episode coincides with a radical new adaptation of the play by Stef Smith that played at the Young Vic theatre in London.
Dan Rebellato is a playwright, journalist and Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written 17 stage plays and numerous radio plays, published several books on contemporary British theatre, as well as edited the Nick Hern series of Terence Rattigan’s plays.
In February 2020 Dan devised and hosted a day-long symposium entitled Re-Imagining Nora, to coincide with a new production of A Doll’s House at the Young Vic theatre in London. As the title suggests, the symposium examined the enduring interest in our reviving and adapting Ibsen’s great play.
Dan recommended any Caryl Churchill play, especially Far Away.
We have footnotes for this episode …
The Footnotes to our very first episode on Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, include notes on Ibsen as a bestselling author; the chequered history of the first productions of the play; the tryanny of censorship; George Bernard Shaw as a champion of Ibsen; the source of Nora’s provocative dance, the Tarantella; and an anecdote that affirms the enduring influence of Nora.
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