A Doll’s House


Character: Nora

Directed by: Henrik Ibsen

Venue: Hartford Stage Company

Nora Helmer returns home on Christmas Eve with a Christmas tree that must be hidden from the children until it is trimmed. Indeed, hiding is a major theme in this play. Later in the first act, Nora plays hide-and-seek with her children, and she hides the macaroons that her husband, Torvald, has forbidden her to eat. A more dangerous secret is the fact that, years earlier, she had borrowed a large amount of money to pay for the sojourn in Italy that enabled Torvald to recover from a serious illness.

Reviews

Mary McDonnell is a vibrant Nora Helmer in the Hartford Stage Company’s production of ”A Doll’s House” (which for some reason is being called ”A Doll House”). She fairly dances her transformation, over three days of Christmas, from playfulness to bewilderment to the defiance that has made Nora a heroine of modern drama.
Miss McDonnell’s ready smile goes through subtle changes. It glows with joy when she romps with her three children (as cute a batch of kids as you’ve seen on a stage) and reflects the mischievous pleasure of sneaking a macaroon despite her husband’s injunction against such indulgences. A smile masks her fear that he may learn of the forgery she committed to raise money when he was ill, and she uses it to gain time while sorting out her emotions at his brutal reaction to that discovery. At the end of the evening, when Nora slams the door on her overly prolonged childhood, she has stopped smiling.
Walter Goodman

Script developed by Never Enough Design