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?