For their spring production, Bench Theatre will be performing one of Henrik Ibsen’s most famous plays, Hedda Gabler.
Ibsen is often referred to as the godfather of modern drama and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre. His plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when Victorian values of family life and propriety largely held sway in Europe. His work examined the realities that lay behind many facades, possessing a revelatory nature that was disquieting to many contemporaries.
Hedda Gabler encompasses these examinations. It tells the story of Hedda; a woman trapped in a loveless marriage, bound by society’s expectations and living under her famous father’s shadow. When old acquaintances arrive, Hedda finds herself caught in a downward spiral, and her power and influence are threatened by the events set in motion.
Directing for his first time for Bench Theatre is Archie McKeown. His debut is an exciting re-imagining of this classic and it fully incorporates music and physical theatre to explore the wide-ranging and still highly relevant themes. As well as the standard cast, there is also a chorus who are on stage the whole time.
The formidable task of portraying Hedda is taken on by Katie Watson, who only made her Bench debut in their February show Precious Little Talent. She said: 'Hedda has been a dream role for me to play since studying the text at school. She's a complex character, full of contradictions, so it's been an interesting challenge to try and add different layers to my performance.'
The Spring, Havant