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A Doll's House

Henrik Ibsen, in a new version by Samuel Adamson
Southwark Playhouse
(2003)

Thea Sharrock's last play as Artistic Director at Southwark also marks this tiny theatre's tenth anniversary. It is a bright, concentrated new version of A Doll's House from Samuel Adamson, played in the round. This really emphasises the claustrophobic nature of the text as the beautifully-costumed actors are hemmed in by the audience.

Kanunu Kirimi is a child-like, bouncing Nora, ripe for patronisation by her newly-successful husband, Torvald, played with great feeling by Ian Dunn.

Their happy Christmas Eve is seemingly improved by the arrival of Jennifer Hennessey's Kris and the doomed but harmless Doctor (Tim Preece) who is hopelessly devoted to Nora.

Once Paul Wyett's wonderfully sinister Krogstad appears, darkness falls on Nora and thus the company. It is a time for re-evaluation by all.

Miss Sharrock's production is fine for two acts but becomes something special in the last. Plot strands fall into place as repressed passions are revealed and the pace reaches breakneck. The whole cast is lifted as Nora finally grows up and seeks an independence that could not have been imagined a couple of hours before.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher