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hedda gabler

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director ivo van hove
from henrik ibsen
duration 2:45
premiere 22 Jun 2006


Ivo van Hove and Jan Versweyveld produced Hedda Gabler at The New York Theatre Workshop in 2004. The show won four prestigious OBIE Awards (Off Broadway Theatre Awards), including Obies for direction and scenography.


Hedda Gabler is a modern woman who wants to lead her own life, just like the men around her. After a turbulent youth and many lovers, she marries Tesman. It is an opportunistic and loveless marriage for both: Hedda gets luxury and social status, Tesman gets a trophy wife. Bored and frustrated, Hedda dreams of the world outside. When Hedda’s former lover returns, she is confronted with the emptiness of her existence. She only sees one way out.  

Ivo van Hove places Hedda Gabler in a modern-day loft in a big city. The performance touches on the modern take on living, of which egocentricity and an urge for instant satisfaction are core features.

Ivo van Hove: ‘In Hedda Gabler we witness a woman with a great lust for life, but Hedda takes no action to truly lead the life she hankers for so much. We know the unavoidable is about to happen. Ibsen’s conventional heroes always dream of freedom, of complete independence, but they are cheated by their dreams. There is always a reason not to make the final decision, there is always family, marriage, society or fear of a public scandal. People are but people. This is what Ibsen wants to show us.’


‘The arrival of this refreshingly daring revival … instantly slips the fall theatre season into a higher gear.’ - New York Times

‘Halina Reijn’s portrayal of all that caged joy is genius. Her Hedda is always on the edge, and that lends tremendous
intensity to this performance.’ - Elsevier
 

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