A Doll’s House Review

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.

A Rondo Theatre production

The Rondo, Larkhall, Bath

26th – 29th March at 7.30pm.
It’s been something of an agitprop season at The Rondo recently and it could be thought that this play continues in the same vein as, written 130 years ago, it reveals an early feminist theme for some.

Interestingly updated to the 1950’s it’s a tale of an apparently happily married middle class couple.  Torvard, a banker about to be promoted, is married to the seemingly frivolous Nora. However, Nora has a secret debt achieved with a forged signature which leaves her open to blackmail.

Torvard’s charm is soon revealed to be a thin cover for patronising pomposity towards his wife as she struggles to keep the debt secret though a variety diversionary plots. Numerous twists and turns keep the pace crackling along but it’s clear that disaster lurks and sooner or later there must be a reckoning and that arrives in the final dramatic scene; a truly fitting climax to a classic play.

There’s a sumptuous period set with a great cast.  Lucy Brownhill transforms the dizzy Nora into a surprisingly determined female for the denoument, while Rob Dawson almost turns the husband into a charmer, and Matt Nation is superb as the downtrodden bank employee Krogstad. Whether it works best in almost modern dress or as a play set in the 1870’s would be a matter of opinion, but either way it’s an undeniably powerful piece.

As it’s on the school curriculum it’s likely to be well attended but still very much worth a visit if you can get a seat.

Philip Horton