Female heroine Hedda Gabler comes to Hull

Published: Friday 10th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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The iconic Hedda Gabler will be brought to life by Lizzy Watts in this powerful piece of theatre.

The famous turn-of-the-century play has been re-imagined by Olivier Award-winning playwright Patrick Marber with a contemporary twist.

We spoke with Lizzy to discover more about this exciting performance at Hull New Theatre.

Great to catch you, Lizzy. Can you tell us a little bit about Hedda Gabler?

On the surface, it’s about a woman who is back from her honeymoon and struggling with her marriage. But it’s about so much more than that – there is a deeper, long-standing unhappiness that Hedda experiences.

The play narrates the 36 hours in which her world unravels.

And of course, it was written almost 130 years ago?

Yes, it was written in the late-nineteenth-century by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. He became notorious for writing plays about things that no one else at the time would talk about. He focused a lot on female characters fighting against social norms.

A Doll’s House, written in 1879, is another example of this style of writing. The main character, Nora, leaves her husband. At the time, that would have been so shocking.

In Hedda Gabler, he deals with a woman who doesn’t want to get married or have children. Again, to expose that kind of female role in the late 1800s would have been just so shocking.

How have you found playing the title role of Hedda?

It’s been amazing, really. The part is truly an actor’s treat. She is so complex; there is so much to Hedda. You just get to work every single muscle.

Hedda can be very cruel, malicious and manipulative at times, but also very vulnerable and damaged. At the same time, she’s funny. Performing her every night is exhausting, but also exhilarating.

What can audiences expect from the show?

Audiences should expect a very gripping night of theatre. It moves along very quickly.

It has been adapted by Patrick Marber, so a lot of the exposition has been taken out and it has been modernised. It moves on at such a pace and takes the audience with it. It’s very funny too.

Lastly, why should people come along?

People love to hate Hedda. However, the characters in the play and the audience are sort of drawn to her character. They feel compelled towards her. Even though she can be so horrendous and so out of order, you are left seduced by her.

Hedda Gabler runs from Monday 13 until Saturday 18 November at Hull New Theatre. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the Hull Theatres website.

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Published: Friday 10th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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