Originally commissioned for Auckland Theatre Company's 2015 season and last performed in Wellington's Circa Theatre in 2017, 'A Doll's House' is a "provocative", "visceral" and "skilful adaptation" of the Henrik Ibsen classic. The story revolves around a woman named Nora Helmer who is living out the ideal life of a 19th-century wife—having a successful and attractive husband, a big house and two charming children. As Christmas festivities get underway, events from the past return to wreak havoc in paradise. Nora's life begins to fracture, leaving her trapped inside a web of secrets and lies. Will the truth set her free or is she in too deep?
Cleverly exposing the power and gender dynamics within a marriage, this version of the explosive story has been re-contextualised in a modern Aotearoa complete with a sugar-free, eco-conscious lifestyle. Celebrated New Zealand writer Emily Perkins has created a masterpiece in her first work for the stage—exploring the social straitjackets we find ourselves in and revealing how much (or how little) has changed since the Ibsen original, framed by questions of societal expectations and identity.
Returning to the role of Nora is the outstanding Sophie Hambleton (TV's Westside), whose "searing" performance in the Wellington premiere at Circa Theatre was critically acclaimed. Opposite her, Simon Leary ('Filthy Business', 'Hudson and Halls') joins the cast for the first time as Nora’s husband, Theo. Kali Kopae, Francis Biggs and veteran actor Peter McCauley from the Wellington production form the supporting cast. They will be joined on tour by 10-year-old Sophie Fulton as Bee, Nora and Theo's daughter. Sophie Fulton had a feature role in the Universal Studios film 'Mortal Engines', released last year and also has a wealth of stage experience. The role of her twin brother Billy will be filled by a young local actor in each of the three centres where the show is touring to. In Nelson, Billy will be played by nine-year-old Ryder McMeeken, and auditions for the role in Dunedin and Hamilton are taking place within this month.
"I feel lucky to work with talented young actors. It's fascinating to see that some children know how to act—they just get it. They understand make-believe and have a lot of empathy and they bring that to their work. Luckily, they also have very supportive parents who are happy for them to go on this journey." - Katherine McRae, Director of 'Burn Her' & 'The Enemy of the People'
Nominated for six Wellington Theatre Awards for the 2017 season—including 'Best New Playwright' and 'Best New NZ Play' for Emily Perkins, 'Outstanding Performance' for Sophie Hambleton, and 'Best Actress' for Kali Kopae and taking home the prizes for Marcus McShane, 'Best Lighting Designer' and Ian Harman, 'Best Set Designer'—this production is inarguably one masterfully-created piece of art.
"As a classic riddled with universal and timeless moral dilemmas, this 'A Doll's House' is potently relevant. Not to be missed." - Theatreview, 2017
Grab your tickets now and don't dare miss this intriguing and thrilling theatre piece this September!