Review: Hedda Gabler at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate.

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Scandinavian drama is very much in vogue at the moment; perhaps Icarus Theatre Collective’s revival of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s 19th century tragedy Hedda Gabler was timely.

But this was no dark, brooding thriller. Ibsen, ahead of his time, addressed real issues: in this case, bored women trapped in unhappy marriages, the fate of Hedda and her former schoolmate Thea.

Alice Bonfacio gave power-seeking Hedda a brittle, mannered veneer which ill-disguised her boredom with her empty life. Nervy, emotional Thea (Holly Piper) contrasted well.

David Martin, no stranger to Chesterfield audiences, was Tesman, Hedda’s naïve, bookish husband, almost childlike in his eagerness to please.

Hedda’s former suitors, suave manipulator Brack (Julian Pindar) and passionate Loevborg (David Sayers) fell foul of her mischief-making along with fussy Aunt Julie (Deborah

Klayman).

Ibsen is never a bundle of laughs and rarely ends happily. Hedda Gabler is no exception.

Icarus put across the undercurrents and suggestions Ibsen used to imply matters which were unmentionable at the time: pregnancy, infidelity, lust all lurked just below the surface.

Hedda Gabler was at the Pomegranate last night (Tuesday, March 18).

Icarus Theatre Company will be staging Othello at the Pomegranate this evening, March 19.

LYNNE PATRICK