Ibsen’s Doll’s House still upsetting sexist men


This video from the USA is called Mabou Mines DollHouse @ UCLA LIVE Nov 28-Dec 10, 2006.

From British daily The Guardian:

‘We’ve really upset some men’

A Doll’s House with dwarfs playing the male roles? It caused fury in the US – how will Edinburgh react?

By Mark Fisher …

The actor, who once played an angel in Frasier, has been cast as the paternalistic Torvald in Mabou Mines DollHouse, a critically acclaimed reworking of Ibsen‘s classic A Doll’s House. This production, by the New York-based avant-garde theatre company Mabou Mines, features no man taller than 4ft 5in. The women, such as Maude Mitchell’s Nora, tower above the men, squeezing themselves into a miniature set that takes no account of their proportions. The language and the attitudes, however, are straight out of 19th-century Norway, meaning Torvald continues to patronise his “poor little Nora”, despite being small enough for her to scoop him up into her arms.

Director Lee Breuer is playing on the absurdity of a social order that favours one sex over the other. Ibsen’s play, a landmark in the movement towards women’s emancipation, was considered dangerously subversive in its day, with its portrayal of a young mother who walks out on a stultifying marriage. Here, in DollHouse, the warped relationships and skewed status find a parallel in the imbalanced physical relationships, creating a surreal comedy out of a melodrama, but without removing its political bite.

Breuer, who adapted the idea from an old Berliner Ensemble production of Brecht’s Coriolan, knew he was on to something as soon as he overheard a couple at an early preview of DollHouse in New York in 2003. At the interval the man got up, said he didn’t like it, and made for the exit. Turning back, he asked his partner if she was coming. “No, I think I’ll stay and see a little more,” she replied. Angrily, he asked when she wanted to be picked up. “Don’t bother,” was her terse response. …

We’ve really upset men, especially in areas that are tremendously patriarchal, such as South Carolina, where half the upper middle-class couples were like Torvald and Nora. They don’t like to be accused of doing what they’re doing.

George Bernard Shaw: here. His Major Barbara: here.

2 thoughts on “Ibsen’s Doll’s House still upsetting sexist men

  1. Pingback: Ibsen’s Peer Gynt on stage | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Ibsen’s Rosmersholm on stage in London | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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