Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Intelligent period drama with a modern twist

A Doll's House

Fluellen Theatre Company , Swansea Grand Theatre, Arts Wing , February 13, 2009
A Doll's House by Fluellen Theatre Company One can always rely on Swansea-based Fluellen Theatre Company to breathe life into material which, in less skilled hands, could so easily be percieved to be dour and dispiriting, and this immensely absorbing adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic story is a case in point.

Originally staged in 1879 under the title of Et Dukkehjem, the story revolves around financial deception, a sham marriage and a syphilitic suitor - not a combination calculated to cheer up audiences suffering from the winter blues, or so one might think.

How wonderful, then, to witness the manner in which director Peter Richards and his seven-strong cast manage to create a piece of theatre which is not only hugely upbeat (in the first half at least) and thought-provoking.

The dilema faced by Nora(a gloriously incandescent central performance from Fluellen regular Jessica Sandry, best known to this reviewer for her comedic skills in plays such as To Whom It May Concern and Toshack Or Me) has immense resonance today, given the obvious parrallels with the omnipresent credit crunch and references to domestic discord that run through the play.

The play has been described as the first feminist drama, and the manner in which Nora undergoes a subtle transformation from downtrodden wife to a stronger and more determined woman is skillfully portrayed.

Huw Richards offers an impressively assured performance as Torvald, while Liza Ludbrook's characterisation of Nora's friend Mrs Linde is well-judged. Fluellen stalwarts David Dooley(Dr Rank), Gavin Dando(Nils Krogstad) and Geraldine Davies(Helen) all fare splendidly in their respective roles and the pace of the work never flags for a moment.

A Doll's House ends it's run at The Arts Wing tonight (Thursday) I would recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone with a taste for intelligent period drama with a disarmingly modern twist.


Fluellen are performing the show in tenby, at the de valence theatre on 26th Feb

Reviewed by: Graham Williams

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