Nora: A Doll's House

Nora: A Doll's House

Young Vic · 06 FEB - 21 MAR

‘You’ve lies in the whites of your eyes, Nora. What have you done…?’

Lyn Gardner avatar
6 February 2020  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“London has already seen one very fine retelling of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in the last six months with Tanika Gupta’s version which relocated the story to colonial India at the Lyric Hammersmith. Now another intriguing rethink comes our way with Stef Smith’s reimaging of the play which reframes the story in three different time periods. In 1918, Nora is getting the vote for the first time; in 1968 it’s the Swinging Sixties and she is getting a taste for liberation in its many forms, and in 2018 Nora is trying to get by in austerity Britain. Elizabeth Freestone directs Smith’s play, first seen at the Citizens in Glasgow, and one which, like Ibsen’s original, sends the sound of doors being opened and slammed echoing back and forth down the centuries.”


Nora is the perfect wife and mother. She is dutiful, beautiful and everything is always in its right place. But when a secret from her past comes back to haunt her, her life rapidly unravels. Over the course of three days, Nora must fight to protect herself and her family or risk losing everything.

Ibsen’s brutal portrayal of womanhood caused outrage when it was first performed in 1879. Originally produced at Citizens Theatre, this bold new production by one of Scotland’s most exciting playwrights reframes the drama in three different time periods. The fight for women’s suffrage, the swinging sixties and modern day intertwine in this urgent, poetic play that asks how far have we really come in the past 100 years?

Critic reviews

Ibsen diced, sliced and reinvented with poetic precision

The Arts Desk

This reimagining - regardless of its new twist - doesn't feel more exciting than the original

Broadway World

An admirable piece of work, one delivered with full-blooded conviction – but which never fully coalesces


Clever, pointed riff on Ibsen has mixed results

Evening Standard

Insightful if sometimes a little clumsy

Lyn Gardner for Stagedoor

Poetic, ambitious reimagining of Ibsen's play exploring changes in women's enfranchisement across a hundred-year period

The Stage

Bold Ibsen reworking in which theory and practice don't quite mesh

The Telegraph

Stef Smith takes the heart of Ibsen’s once provocative play and gives it a jump-start


Conceptually there’s a lot of promise

The Upcoming

An intense, ambitious survey of women’s shifting roles, which amplifies each step in Ibsen’s elegantly crafted story, as though Nora’s stamping through a cathedral in Doc Martens

Time Out

Stef Smith’s smart three-Nora Ibsen update spans 100 years and cleverly contrasting worlds of pain in this slick first revival

The Observer

A feeling of stasis pervades the form as well as the dialogue

A Younger Theatre

Date & time

Show ended
Thu 6 Feb - Sat 21 Mar, 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Runtime: 1 hr 45 mins


Young Vic
66 The Cut, Waterloo SE1 8LZ London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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