A Luminescent 'Hedda' - The New York Sun (03mar06)
- Category: Theatre News and Reviews
- Published on Saturday, 22 April 2006 15:00
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The New York Sun
Reviewer: HELEN SHAW
March 3, 2006
"Hedda Gabler," rather like "Hamlet" or "Sweet Charity," can't help but be a star turn. The success of a show that puts such incredible emphasis on its lead - keeping her onstage nearly the entire performance - will always depend on its title character. So it should come as no surprise that a touring production starring the alabaster Cate Blanchett excels. Ms. Blanchett's ruthlessly detailed performance seems to surge out of Ibsen's gloomy potboiler like a slender column supporting a heavy roof - even though that roof does sometimes seem structurally dodgy.
At first, director Robyn Nevin's "Hedda Gabler" seems like an embarrassment of riches. The first act-and-ahalf (the intermission arrives an abrupt 20 pages before the actual act break) crackles with delicious tension.The actors play Ibsen like he's Chekhov, embroidering their performances with tics and natural phrasing that sound nothing like the elliptical Norwegian firebrand we've come to expect.