A Doll's House

Production history

A Doll's House received its world premiere on 21 December 1879 at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, with Betty Hennings as Nora, Emil Poulsen as Torvald and Peter Jerndorff as Dr. Rank.[15] Writing for the Norwegian newspaper Folkets Avis, the critic Erik Bøgh admired Ibsen's originality and technical mastery: "Not a single declamatory phrase, no high dramatics, no drop of blood, not even a tear."[16] Every performance of its run was sold out.[17] Another production opened at the Royal Theatre in Stockholm, Sweden, on 8 January 1880, while productions in Christiania (with Johanne Juell as Nora and Arnoldus Reimers as Torvald) and Bergen followed shortly after.[18] In Germany, the actress Hedwig Niemann-Raabe refused to perform the play as written, declaring that "I would never leave my children!"[17] Since the playwright's wishes were not protected by copyright, Ibsen decided to avoid the danger of being re-written by a lesser dramatist by committing what he called a "barbaric outrage" on his play himself and giving it an alternative ending in which Nora did not leave.[19] A production of this version opened in Flensburg in February 1880.[20] This version was also played in Hamburg, Dresden, Hanover, and Berlin, although, in the wake of protests and a lack of success, Niemann-Raabe eventually restored the original ending.[20] Another production of the original version, some rehearsals of which Ibsen attended, opened on 3 March 1880 at the Residenz Theatre in Munich.[20] In Great Britain, the only way in which the play was initially allowed to be given in London was in an adaptation by Henry Arthur Jones and Henry Herman called Breaking a Butterfly. This adaptation was produced at the Princess Theatre, 3 March 1884. The first British production of the play in its regular form opened on 7 June 1889 at the Novelty Theatre, starring Janet Achurch as Nora and Charles Carrington as Torvald.[21][22][23] Achurch played Nora again for a 7-day run in 1897. Soon after its London premiere, Achurch brought the play to Australia in 1889.[24] The play was first seen in America when, during 1883, in Louisville, Kentucky, Helena Modjeska acted Nora.[22] The play made its Broadway premiere at the Palmer's Theatre on 21 December 1889, starring Beatrice Cameron as Nora Helmer.[25] It was first performed in France in 1894.[18] Other productions in the United States include one in 1902 starring Minnie Maddern Fiske and a 1971 production starring Claire Bloom. A new translation by Zinnie Harris at the Donmar Warehouse, starring Gillian Anderson, Toby Stephens, Anton Lesser, Tara FitzGerald and Christopher Eccleston opened in May 2009.[26] In August 2013, Young Vic, London, Great Britain, produced a new adaptation of A Doll's House directed by Carrie Cracknell based on the English language version by Simon Stephens. In September 2014, in partnership with Brisbane Festival, La Boite located in Brisbane, Australia, hosted an adaptation of A Doll's House written by Lally Katz and directed by Stephen Mitchell Wright.[27] In June 2015, Space Arts Centre in London is to stage an adaptation of A Doll's House featuring the discarded alternate ending. [28]

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