Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Doll's House



Photo: ?

Theatre Vertigo
August 31, 2007; closes September 22, 2007

Uneven tuning, dynamics. Two leads freeze up at higher end of emotional scale with halting, broken speech, especially in second act. Villazan is hard to hear and fluctuates between loud and inaudible in same line. Still, penetrating story of oppression and change rings true. Supporting characters Pierce, Norman, Healey solid.

18 comments:

Brian said...

I know this was an adaptation, as opposed to a strict translation...

Can anyone speak to the differences? I'm not as familiar with the original script as I probably aught to be, and I certainly don't read Norwegian.

But it seemed to me that there was a lot more talk in the last scene than there is in the translations I had read before...

Tom said...

It is both a translation and adaptation. The adaptations are not to plot, or character. Dialogue has been adapted at points to make things easier to stage. For example, in the original (or you know most english translations since I also do not speak norwegian) there is a piano and we have replaced it with a record player. Also, in the original the children make an on stage cameo, and that has been eliminated in this version. The children still exist in the world of the play, but they are not on stage.

As for the last scene, no dialogue was added.

Tom

Liz said...

Project Gutenberg has a copy online; it actually appears that the original last scene may in fact have been a bit longer.
Here's a link

Carole said...

Liz

Is there any way to tell who the translator of the Project Gutenberg version is? It says "prepared by" but that might just mean the person who typed it all in or scanned it in to the PG site.

Strange that it doesn't specify such an important contributor to the work ...

Tom and other Vertigians ... How/why did you choose the Walsh translation? Did you compare other versions? Just curious...

Darius said...

Hi Carole (and others!),

After choosing the show for our season, we read a few different translations, though had not settled on one. Mary, our director, brought us the Paul Walsh translation when she was hired. It was the translation she was most excited about and it quickly became our favorite. It is a newer translation and we found it sounded much more natural than others we read, without losing any nuance or humor or emotional power. I'm sure you'd get different answers from different people about why they preferred it - but I think a main selling point all around was that Mary has a relationship with Paul, so we were able to work with him throughout the process.

Thanks for your interest!
Darius

Anonymous said...

Vertigo/Integrity in the summer is a fine line: do you want a hot theatre and perfect show, or a comfortable theatre with a hard to hear show?

The space needs a retrofit of the HVAC system, but of course that costs money. Money that, if small theatre had, they wouldn't be as small.

The space should be renamed the Catch 22 stage...

Anonymous said...

My only real complaint is that I could barely hear the most famous door slam in all of dramatic literature.

Was that a choice?

Anonymous said...

Very fine production. Villazan is marvelous, walking that fine line between flighty-brittle and flashes of the intelligence that needs to be there for the climax. Darius Pierce adds a lovely poignance to the hysteria we've seen in past characters, and all the other roles are well executed. The Fifties are now almost far enough away that they might as well be more than a century off, though of course the universal human themes hold true. As for the absence of a door slam, that may have been a lemon the director turned into lemonade -- impossible to slam without shaking the set, the decision may have been made to play against cliche and see how a silent explosion that topples a world -- or at least several lives -- resounds.

Mead said...

Most productions of Doll's House I've seen went overboard with the door slam, making it seem like the gesture of a petulant child rather than an irrevocable act. As though Nora might just walk back in once she ran out of mad money. I appreciated the way Nora leaves quietly and finally in this production. She shuts the door carefully, as if paying respect to her former house and her old way of life. She aint coming back, because there's nothing left to come back to, and that was plainly evident in Vertigo's version.

Jeff said...

impossible to slam without shaking the set

Albeit true, the ending of the show was decided on before the set was ever constructed.

-j

Anonymous said...

Well, that and since the slam happens offstage, it wouldn't be part of the set anyway...

Anonymous said...

Did you see the show? The door is definitely on stage, although deep upstage, beyond an arched foyer, where SOME of the audience might not be able to see it. But I saw Villazan go through it, I saw it close, I saw it fail to latch, and I saw it get very carefully latched some time later, during last Saturday's show.

Anonymous said...

Ever think about giving the director the benefit of the doubt?

Anonymous said...

Or you could expect the director to, you know, follow the script or something.

Anonymous said...

Do you UNDERSTAND the show?

It's the FRONT door that slams, not the door to their flat. THAT door is most definitely OFFstage.

Anonymous said...

Or you could trust the director to make a choice and/or interpret the script.

Anonymous said...

or you kids could get over it and move on

Anonymous said...

The two leads were AMAZING! What are you talking about, Followspot? You have never been in their situation, obviously. I have. So I know that they were genuine. And it was spot-on!