Casting by Pat McCorkle.
The play, which questions these traditional attitudes, was highly controversial and elicited sharp criticism. The character of Nora Helmer, a favorite with actresses seeking a role of strength and complexity, has dominated the play from its inception.
She is the one who gains audience empathy, who grows through the course of the play. Some insisted that although a woman might leave her husband, she would never leave her children. Further, Ibsen himself declared that he was not writing solely about women but instead about issues of his society and about the need for individuals, both men and women, to be true to themselves.
The need for communication contributes to the thematic pattern of the play. Nora and Torvald communicate only on the most superficial level; he speaks from the conventions of society but neither sees nor hears her, while she can only play out the role that he has constructed for her.
This inability or unwillingness to express themselves verbally leads to unhappiness and pain. The theme is echoed in the subplot of Kristine and Krogstad, both of whom have struggled with the cruelties of society.
Kristine endured a loveless marriage in order to support her elderly mother and young brothers; Krogstad was forced into crime in order to care for his ill wife and children.
Although within the plot their union seems somewhat contrived, Ibsen characterizes them as aware of themselves and honest with each other. Thereafter, she hides the Christmas presents, lies about eating macaroons, continues to deceive Torvald into believing that she is a spendthrift and flighty female, and invents distractions to prevent him from opening the mailbox.
Torvald too participates in concealment. Private and public rewards result from its presence. It enabled Nora and Torvald to travel to Italy for his health. Yet, all the major figures—Torvald, Nora, Kristine, and Krogstad—have been affected adversely by its absence: In the complex pattern that Ibsen has created, lack of self-knowledge, inability to communicate, and unthinking conformity to convention affect the institution of marriage most adversely.For example, Erik Vullum––a Norwegian Journalist––wrote in his review of A Doll’s House: “I am thinking about the fact that it is Nora, that is, the woman, who acts as a spokesman both when it comes to the dissolution of the marriage and to entrusting the children she herself has borne to the care of a nanny.
Feb 27, · Dominic Rowan and Hattie Morahan as Torvald and Nora Helmer in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” (Richard Termine) Throughout the show's nearly three hours, Nora is regarded — better, disregarded — by her banker husband Torvald (Dominic Rowan, excellent) as .
Hattie Morahan and Dominic Rowan in A Doll's House at Young Vic, London.
Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian. C arrie Cracknell's production certainly puts a new spin on Ibsen's classic. A Doll's House is a play of social criticism in the sense that it has criticized the traditional marriage, man-woman relationship and the domination of the female by the male in the name of love or family.
It has thrown a number of questions in the face of the so-called values that were traditionally supposed to make the family happy and the society civilized.
Plays about beds and bathtubs, armchairs and kitchen sinks. Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, the masterwork and shocker, is a drama about a door. So is Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House Part 2, a brisk and brainy sequel, directed by Sam Gold, which has entered Broadway at the close of the season.
Previews for A Doll's House, Part 2 begin July 12, with an official opening night on July 15, and performances through July 28 on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage (30 Union Street).