Dunstan Playhouse, 26 April – 18 May 2013, Opening Night: 30 April 8pm
Ibsen’s enigmatic heroine Hedda Gabler is brought to life by one of Australia’s most exciting young actors, Alison Bell, in a new adaptation of a play by the same name by leading Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith.
If Hedda Gabler were a real-life figure today, she would be a staple of the gossip magazines and tabloids; the “It Girl” of her generation. Raised as a blue-blood, renowned for her beauty and intelligence but trapped in the mediocrity of her boring academic husband’s world, Hedda is desperate for excitement, both romantic and intellectual. When her husband’s former academic rival arrives back on the scene, a spark ignites and Hedda initiates a manipulative and deadly game.
Regarded as one of theatre’s greatest female roles since it was first published in 1890, Ibsen’s celebrated anti-heroine has been brought to life by many of the world’s greatest actresses, including Ingrid Bergman, Maggie Smith, Judy Davis and Cate Blanchett.
“I’ve been waiting to have another go at Ibsen since directing Ghosts in 2008, and to approach one of his greatest plays, in a wonderful new version by Joanna, is a real honour,” says Director Geordie Brookman.
Most recently delighting audiences in ABC TV’s Laid, and lighting up stages for Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir and Melbourne Theatre Company, Alison Bell makes her State Theatre Company debut in this role. She is joined by Company regulars Kate Cheel (The Glass Menagerie, Three Sisters), Terence Crawford (Speaking in Tongues), Cameron Goodall (In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Hamlet), Carmel Johnson (Pornography, Three Sisters) and Nathan O’Keefe (Pinocchio, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)).
Joanna Murray-Smith has achieved international success as a playwright, renowned for her thought-provoking plays which deftly mix comedy and drama, elegant language, wit and savage observations. Her work has been nominated for many awards including the Olivier Award for Best Comedy for Female of the Species, which State Theatre Company presented in 2008. Her other plays include The Gift, Rockabye, Ninety, Bombshells, Honour, Redemption, Lovechild, Honour and Songs for Nobodies which recently toured Australia. Murray-Smith has been awarded two Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for Drama, Edinburgh Fringe First Award 2004 and the London Theatregoers Choice Award. She was also a finalist for the 2006 Miles Franklin Award and was nominated for the 2004 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
“Bell is a terrific actor. Her Una is alternately vulnerable and defiant, but as her armour cracks, we get a piercing portrayal of the suffering Ray’s betrayal has wrought.” The Age, on Alison Bell in MTC’s production of Blackbird.
Director: Geordie Brookman
Set And Lighting Designer: Geoff Cobham
Costume And Associate Set Designer: Ailsa Paterson
Associate Lighting Designer: Ben Flett
Composer: DJ TR!P
Cast Includes: Alison Bell, Kate Cheel, Terence Crawford, Cameron Goodall, Carmel Johnson and Nathan O’Keefe
Book at BASS 131 246 or online