By John Osborne. From the classic Ibsen drama.
Cast: 3m., 4w. "Ibsen did not set out to write one great part for an actress. For, like most great plays, the apparent central character exists only by the favor of the other characters in the play, however small. The important point about the adaptation and production of the play is very simple: the complexity of the character of Hedda Gabler is richer only if the other characters in the play are also seen to be made as rich as they are. They are all, by any standards, a pretty shabby lot. Hedda is a born victim but she does have the gift of energy, while Mrs. Elvsted is a very cold cookie indeed. What would happen after the last scene? These speculations are always intriguing but, of course, fruitless. The situation is not nearly as open as that of The Doll's House. But Nora is stronger and less distracted and commonplace and unable to create her own timing. As I see it, Hedda Gabler has her fun at the expense of others. She has a sharp wit but no authentic sense of humor. She is a bourgeois snob and a walking waste of human personality. She is indolently evil and lives off her own fantasies, absorbing from people better than herself. What, for instance, about her honeymoon? What did she really do? Of course, she was bored. But, tied to her timidity, she also chose to be bored and I think that outset of the play is the core of her tragedy, if that is what it is. Like many frigid people, her only true feelings are expressed in jealousy, possessiveness and acquisitive yearnings. For instance, she is completely unable to initiate situations in her life. It seems quite clear, to me anyway, that the Gabler house would be furnished and decorated by Juliana and that the horses would be bought by Tesman himself. She always has to be the center of attention, would like to be a great lady and would be bored whatever she did or whatever happened to her. A great, largely misused play." (John Osborne)