We went to see Ruth Wilson in Hedda Gabler yesterday at the National Theatre. It was easily the best rendition of Hedda Gabler we have seen. Patrick Marber has created a modern version of the Ibsen play that retains the powerful dramatic anguish of the original text but he has also introduced far more pace and some great moments of humour to the dialogue. It is also fantastically staged and directed by Ivo Van Hove, who was responsible for the extraordinary View From the Bridge we saw at the Young Vic a couple of years ago.
The Marber version gives Ruth Wilson the opportunity to give full reign to the wild, flirty and uncompromising elements of the Hedda character and he also turns Brack into a more sinister force. Rafe Spall is excellent as Brack, not quite as menacing as his part in The Shadow Line but definitely in the same ball park. Indeed, the whole cast gave great performances. All underpinned by a beautiful incidental soundtrack that included Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley & Nina Simone.
If you can get to see this live then don’t miss out. If you can’t, it’s being screened in cinemas nationwide on 9 March.