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Preview: Hedda Gabler at Newcastle Northern Stage

Hedda Gabler, This is Not a Love Story
Newcastle Northern Stage
Thursday 16th February - Wednesday 8th March 2017

By Henrik Ibsen
A new version adapted and directed by Selma Dimitrijevic
From the literal translation by Anne and Karin Bamborough

A brand new adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler written and directed by Greyscale Artistic Director, Selma Dimitrijevic is sub-titled This is Not a Love Story. Often mistaken as such, Ibsen’s masterpiece - possibly the greatest stage role ever written for a woman, and often described as ‘a female Hamlet’ - is actually a funny, shocking and powerful exploration of the nature of identity, and the desperation and absurdity of trying to be something you’re not.

Selma Dimitrijevic says, “I am not interested in what Hedda meant a hundred years ago, or howit’s been interpreted since. I am interested in what this play can tell us about today: what’s it like to be told you are something you are not; what do you do when you are not allowed to dress the way you want, speak the way you want or behave the way you want; and most importantly who has the right to create those rules and why. Hedda finds herself boxed into a life she never chose for herself and basically has only three options: to submit, to put a bullet in her own head, or to stick two fingers up at the world and change the rules.

The production will be designed by Tom Piper MBE who is also responsible for Northern Stage and Greyscale’s co-production Dr Frankenstein, directed by Lorne Campbell. Earlier this year, Piper worked with former Northern Stage Artistic Director Erica Whyman OBE on A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and won critical acclaim for his Poppies: Weeping Window installation with artist Paul Cummins which opened at the Tower of London in 2014 before touring nationally.

Piper is joined by lighting designer Lizzie Powell (Our Ladies of Perpetual  Succour, National Theatre of Scotland) and sound designer Scott Twynholm whose compositions have appeared in numerous films including Palme d’Or nominated The Edukators, Cameron Crow’s Vanilla Sky and has scored music for plays by Caryl Churchill and David Harrower and worked with many theatre companies including The National Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland and The Traverse.

The cast are Victoria Elliott (Get Carter, Northern Stage) who will play Hedda Gabler, Rachel Denning (The Vote, Donmar Warehouse) as Thea, Ed Gaughan (The Birthday Party, Royal Exchange) as Hedda’s husband, Tesman, Scott Turnbull (Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone, Greyscale) as Eilert Lövborg, Donald McBride (Pitmen Painters, Live Theatre) as Judge Brack, Libby Davison (The Bill, ITV) as Aunt Julie, and Polly Frame (The Odyssey, English Touring Theatre) as Berte.

The same ensemble are making a brand new adaptation of Dr Frankenstein (3 Feb – 11 Mar) simultaneously, as part of Queens of the North at Northern Stage - a season of great female stories and great female storytellers which also includes Leaving (23 Feb - 4 March) - a new play from Curious Monkey about young people leaving the care system, directed by Amy Golding; four women from across the centuries live, breathe, and play football in Offside (27-29 April) from Fu tures Theatre Company; Holly Gallagher’s one woman show about Cosplay and growing up on the internet - Before (the Line is Lost) (26 Jan); Present to Past: Reclaiming Work by Women (22 & 25 Feb); and Transit by Zendeh (27-28 January) - Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh’s reflection on relationships and reaching over divides.

For full details or to book tickets online see or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.

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