BWW Review: HEDDA GABLER, Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Hedda Gabler has just returned from her honeymoon and is already bored of her new life. Her husband believes that he has given her everything she wanted but she remains unsatisfied and begins to control everybody around her.
Hedda is not a likeable character. While she possess a dry wit and hits out with some excellent one liners, you can't help but feel at the beginning that she is somewhat of a spoiled brat. Lizzy Watts gives a passionate and downright disturbing performance as Hedda Gabler. While everybody onstage gives it their all, she is undoubtedly the star of the show and it is easy to see why the role is regarded as "the female Hamlet".
The set is a simple white space and while the setting is clearly modern, they don't pinpoint exactly where or when the piece is set. The set uses every inch of the stage which makes the apartment seem very sparse as Hedda's husband Tesman can't afford to furnish it yet.
While the men who want to control Hedda's life are dressed in dark suits, she is in white silk nightwear. As they discuss her fertility and her plans for the future, you would assume that Hedda has little control over her own life from now on.
On the way in to the auditorium there is a notice that says the production contains gunfire. Being of a nervous disposition, I do tend to look out for this in the blurb when booking shows but there was no mention of it on the theatre website. Hedda Gabler is a very tense play as it is but I found it almost unbearable in places because of the potential for gunshots.
Hedda Gabler isn't an easy way to spend two hours of your life. It is a play that is hugely unsettling, tense and bleak- but the performances make it so worth it.
Hedda Gabler runs at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow until Saturday 20th January.