A Doll's House

A Doll's House

Lyric Hammersmith · 06 SEP - 05 OCT

Tanika Gupta reimagines Ibsen’s classic play of gender politics through the lens of British colonialism.

Lyn Gardner avatar
5 September 2019  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“Rachel O’ Riordan made a big success of her time running the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff so hopes are high as she takes on one of London’s trickiest theatres – but potentially one of its most rewarding. Her first season kicks off with a version of Ibsen’s classic play which relocates the drama to Calcutta in 1879. Niru, a young Bengali woman who has married Tom, an English colonial bureaucrat, finds herself at the mercy of society’s expectations - which demand that she subjugates her own identity. Anjana Vasan, so good in Rutherford and Son at the NT, plays Niru in Tanika Gupta’s new version.”
“The Lyric's new Artistic Director, Rachel O’Riordan, is kicking off her tenure with this intriguing re-imagining of Ibsen's classic play about gender politics. Adapted by Tanika Gupta, it relocates the story to Calcutta in 1879 - the year Ibsen's play was first performed and a time when Imperial power structures was consolidated in a way that made racial distinctions increasingly rigid and formalised. Queen Victoria has just been declared 'Empress of India', but what do the changing times mean for the women of India who were married to Englishmen?”


Calcutta. 1879.

Niru, is a young Bengali woman in a mixed-race marriage with an English colonial bureaucrat – Tom.

Tom loves Niru, exoticising her as a frivolous plaything to be admired and kept. But Niru has a long-kept secret. And just as she thinks she is almost free of it, it threatens to bring her life crashing down around her.

Tanika Gupta reimagines Ibsen’s classic play of gender politics through the lens of British colonialism, offering a bold, female perspective exploring themes of ownership and race.

Rachel O’Riordan makes her directorial debut as Artistic Director of the Lyric, in a production that gives new urgency to the forces that drive our heroine to choose between society’s expectations and her own identity.

Age Recommendation: 11+

Critic reviews

Anjana Vasan is superb in Tanika Gupta’s fierce postcolonial take on the Ibsen classic

Time Out

A whirling, inescapable funhouse of micro and macroaggressions


An ingenious revival

Financial Times

Gupta's adaptation of A Doll's House revises and reimagines Ibsen's classic in an impressive way

Broadway World

A challenging, forceful new version of Ibsen's forever-radical 1879 play

London Theatre

Bold Ibsen rewrite with a star turn worth crossing town for

The Telegraph

Rachel O’Riordan’s first season at the Lyric Hammersmith opens with an intelligent reframing of Ibsen’s play

The Stage

Ibsen tellingly transposed to colonial India

The Arts Desk

Rachel O'Riordan's first Lyric show breathes new life into Ibsen

Evening Standard

The production is both faithful to Ibsen and revelatory in its rethinking


With a career-defining performance from Anjana Vasan, Tanika Gupta’s production is moving, multilayered and intelligent

The Guardian

Date & time

Show ended
Fri 6 Sep - Sat 5 Oct, 1.30pm, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


Lyric Hammersmith
Lyric Square, King St W6 0QL London, UK · Get Directions
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