Hedda Gabler, the daughter of a deceased General, marries dull George Tesman and foresees a life of middle class tedium stretching ahead when they return from their honeymoon. Increasingly, she is drawn into the clutches of her admirer, Judge Brack, who seeks to establish a ménage à trois. Then the brilliant but dissolute Eilert Lovborg, a former flame, arrives to rival her husband for an academic post.
This new audio production, with Juliet Stevenson giving an unforgettable performance as the passionate Hedda, brings this classic drama to life.
Translated by William Archer and Edmund Gosse.
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Juliet Stevenson inhabits the title Femme Fatale with such conviction that even a lesser supporting cast would have to rise to the occasion. But the cast here is first-rate as is the insightful and resonant direction by John Tydeman. Not only has he made this intense stage play perfectly intelligible for audio, but he delivers a most engrossing Hedda. The intelligent, spirited, and self-absorbed Hedda has a dull but devoted husband, an ardent ex-lover, and a lecherous old judge hanging around her. Her manipulations, instigated largely to spark her uninspiring existence, result in a tragically untragic shooting and her own virtual enslavement. Ibsen's masterful, flawlessly constructed character study, though written to reflect rural Norway of the 1880s, seems vividly contemporary.
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Top notch performances.