DESPITE interruptions from mobile phones, last night’s debut of Hedda Gabler, starring Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, was a huge success.
The star-studded, 850-strong Brooklyn audience gave the performance a standing ovation. Legendary director Martin Scorsese said the Sydney Theatre Company production was "quite extraordinary, really beautifully put together".
The play, set in the 1890s, was staged among the open brickwork and deliberately scarred walls of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, one of New York’s most-celebrated venues. King Kong star Naomi Watts hugged Blanchett at a post-play party.
Match Point and Elvis actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers said Hedda Gabler was near-perfect: "Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett are such incredible, powerful actors — their performances were almost flawless."
Rhys Myers said Justine Clarke’s performance was exceptional, and praised the Australian backstage crew who lit the production.
Some famous actors snapped up tickets to last night’s performance, the first of a three-week run including Watts’ boyfriend Liev Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate), Brooklyn’s Marissa Tomei (What Women Want) and John Turturo (O Brother Where Art Thou, The Big Lebowski)