A Doll's House description
A Doll's House – Part of a new season directed by Jamie Lloyd
The brilliant Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain is due in London to play Nora in Ibsen's classic play, a piece of theatre that caused a scandal when it was first released and is just as relevant to this day. This is Chastain's British stage debut, it's a fresh new version of A Doll's House created by Frank McGuinness, and it's a member of the brand new Jamie Lloyd season at the Playhouse theatre.
A Doll's House – What's the plot?
Based on a shocking true story, A Doll's House is set in a Norwegian town in around 1879. It tells the story of Nora, a woman who – like everyone in Norway at the time, and in Britain too – lacked any real opportunity to live a fulfilling life. As a married woman she was treated like a child, with no power, no independence and no self-actuation. In the male-dominated world of the time the play caused a huge scandal, a 'storm of outraged controversy' that shocked polite society.
Meet Nora Helmer, a married woman with no money of her own. Her husband controls the cash. She once secretly borrowed a huge sum of money to pay for her husband's treatment, to cure his TB. She kept the loan secret, paying it back bit by bit from her household allowance. Her husband, Torvald, believes she's a childlike creature, careless and stupid. He calls her his doll.
When he becomes director at the bank, Torvald discovers that Nora forged her dad's signature to get the money. A bank customer, Krogstad, from whom Nora borrowed the cash, threatens to reveal Nora's crime and disgrace the family. Torvald abandons his wife even though she'd acted to save his life. Eventually she realises he isn't worth loving, and she leaves him.
The amazing Jessica Chastain
Jessica Michelle Chastain, the American actress and producer, stars as Nora. She's known and loved for a series of exceptional feminist movie roles, and has a Golden Globe Award as well as being nominated for a couple of Academy Awards. In 2012 Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. If you've seen her on TV in Molly's Game, It Chapter 2, Miss Sloane, or Zero Dark Thirty, you'll already know what an exceptional actor she is.
Find out more about Nora – A fascinating historical novel
In 2019 professor Wendy Swallow published Searching for Nora: After the Doll's House. It's a popular historical novel telling the tale of Nora Helmer's life from the moment she walks out on her husband and children for good. It tracks Nora as she struggles for survival in Oslo then emigrates to the USA to live on the Minnesota prairie. How many plays end up being celebrated with a follow-up novel? Not many... and that confirms, in case you didn't already realise, just how special this play is. Grab tickets while you can.
Playing at Playhouse Theatre
12 August 2020 – Audio Described Performance
19 August 2020 – Captioned Performance
A Doll's House news
Opens 21 Apr 2021
Opens 21 April 2021