Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mabou Mines Dollhouse

Henrik Ibsen's 1859 play A Doll's House is presented in this adapted form by the NY-based Mabou Mines group. Lee Breuer's ( who also did A Gospel at Colonnus ) concept is to have all the male roles played by midgets, symbolizing stunted male thinking and sexual repression. Meanwhile, I was sitting high in the Grand Circle of the King's Theatre, acting out my own ironic commentary by biting the heads of jelly babies so that I'd get enough of a sugar hit to stay awake, and trying not to let my cramped feet turn into a fully fledged DVT attack.

This production reminds me a bit of the ballet I saw last week: a technical tour de force, but piled high to the rafters with symbolism like some metaphysical junkshop. The cast all speak in cod-Norwedish accents, the lead Nora also affecting a childish voice when with her husband in order to underline her dollness. At times I thought she might really have been channelling Bialystock and Bloom's Swedish assistant Ulla.

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