Nora (‘A Doll’s House’) by Henrik Ibsen premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879. The play, written while Ibsen was in Rome and Amalfi, Italy, was conceived at a time of revolution in Europe. Charged with the fever of the 1848 European revolutions, a new modern perspective was emerging in the literary and dramatic world, challenging the romantic tradition.
Nora (‘A Doll’s House’) traces the awakening of Nora Helmer from her previously unexamined life of domestic, wifely comfort. Having been ruled her entire life by either her father or her husband Torvald, Nora finally comes to question the foundation of everything she believed in when her marriage is put to the test.
The play was controversial when first published, as it is sharply critical of the traditional role of man and woman in 19th-century marriage. To many 19th-century Europeans, this was scandalous. Nothing was considered more holy than the covenant of marriage, and to portray it in such a way was completely unacceptable.
Nora is much more than a mere historical study of 19th-century society. Seen through 21st-century eyes, the play becomes a chilling analysis of relations between men and women today. It asks us whether the position of women has really changed since 1879. It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s an exhilarating tale of moral condescension and societal hypocrisy and a subtle criticism of consumerism and the potential pitfalls awaiting well-to-do households in the Europe of 2012.
Two keywords characterise Tg STAN: ‘actor-oriented’ and ‘undogmatic’. The undogmatic aspect is reflected in the name – S(top) T(hinking) A(bout) N(ames) – as well as in the repertoire. This is a hybrid collection of texts, invariably expressing social criticism, in which Cocteau and Anouilh stand side by side with Chekhov, Bernhard next to Ibsen, and comedies by Wilde or Shaw next to essays by Diderot. This diversity does not reflect the wish to offer something to suit all tastes, but rather a deliberate and purposeful attitude towards repertory building.
For STAN the actor is the keystone. Although the company works without a director and refuses to harmonise – or perhaps because of this headstrong attitude – the best STAN performances have a powerful unity. The actors’ pleasure in their work makes the sparks fly, while communicating forceful social or even political statements without ever moralising.
Text: ‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen. By and with: Wine Dierickx, Jolente De Keersmaeker, Tiago Rodrigues and Frank Vercruyssen. Lchting design: Thomas Walgrave. Costumes An d’Huys. Production and technique tg STAN. Coproduction: Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon (PT), Festival de Almada (PT) | première July 2012, Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon, within the Almada Festival (PT). Photo: Francesca Woodman – Courtesy George and Betty Woodman