This Tuesday I went to see A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. It’s the latest play from Kildare Youth Theatre, where I am an intern on an Erasmus scheme from my university in the Czech Republic.
The play was in the Riverbank Theatre, just across the street from Kildare Youth Theatre. It was directed by Evan Lynch. I know the director personally as well as the actors but I’ve decided to try to stay objective. The play takes two and a half hours to perform. Yes, two and a half, that long. But it’s worth it! Is it?
The first obstacle that might prevent enjoyment is the age of the performers. All of them play older people than they actually are in real life. You see young 16 years old play people around 20s, 30s or even older. You can especially notice the age discrepancy in one particular actor, Seán Dowse, who is playing the dying Doctor Rank, a friend of the family. The characters are complex. They are more than just black and white presentations, more like a rainbow palette of characteristics.
Another possible obstacle is the dominance in the play of some characters. The main protagonist, Nora, is on-stage 90% of the time, and that leads to a huge amount of lines. She is not alone. The rest of the characters are on-stage for at least half the play (if you don’t count servants). And that can easily lead to jumbled words or even the possibility of forgetting lines.
I pointed out probably two main obstacles. And that’s it. Those are just only obstacles. As an audience member I didn’t have a problem with the age of the actors and mainly because you can see how dedicated they are were to their roles. After the first half hour (if not sooner) you forget that you are watching someone you know, Elliot Nolan, playing Torvald and you’re just focusing on Torvald’s stubborn attitude. The same applies to the other characters. I’ve read this play before but I was nailed to my seat watching it, and listening to their lines and tensely witnessing the conclusion! I absolutely forgot about the age of the performers. You believe that Dr Rank is actually an old man but not just because of the costume (which are great overall!) but because you can see that these young actors are absorbed in and living their characters.
I remember about three or four fluffed words. Three or four, during a whole two and a half hour long play! Hats off ladies and gentlemen. Caoimhe Battault displaying tremendous acting and other actors greatly contributing to the main protagonist Nora and the play as a solid unit.
A Doll’s House, or just simply “Nora” in Czech, was Evan Lynch’s directorial debut and he did a great job. Hopefully we’ll see more from this prominent young director and his team.
Filip Karda from The Czech Republic