Olivier Award-winning playwright Patrick Marber and Olivier and Tony Award-winning director, Ivo Van Howe, bring the historical ‘Hedda Gabler’ to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal this month.
The show arrives following a sold-out run at the National Theatre with the lead role, Hedda Gabler, played by ITV The Durrell’s and Midsummer Murder actress, Lizzy Watts.
‘Hedda Gabler’ received its world premiere on 31st January 1981 in Munich and is still recognised to date as a classic realism 19th-century theatre and world drama.
Original writer and Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, stated Tesman was the married name of Hedda. However, Henrik chose to use her maiden name, Gabler. Ibsen stated: “my intention in giving it this name was to indicate that Hedda, as a personality, is to be regarded rather as her father’s daughter than her husband’s wife.’
The story follows Hedda Gabler, daughter of General Gabler, who is newly married and already bored of married life. Husband, George Tesman, is as dedicated to research and travel as he is his wife. Having returned from their honeymoon, where George spent the majority of his time researching, Hedda realises she only married him as she believes her years of youthful abandonment are over.
Eilert, a recovering alcoholic and George’s former colleague, is competing with his friend to achieve a publishing and a teaching position. Eilert achieves a best-selling publication in the same field as George and plans a sequel. As George and Hedda struggle financially, it quickly becomes apparent that Hedda and Eilert are former lovers.
Hedda becomes jealous of Thea (Eilert’s wife) and encourages him to drink which results in him misplacing the sequel manuscript which is found by Hedda. Hedda allows jealousy to take over and burns the manuscript to save her husband’s professorship. Her actions cause death and heartbreak for her husband and Thea.
Hedda Gabler appears at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from 13th – 17th February. Tickets, priced at £14.50 in advance, are available from theatreroyal.co.uk.